OSHA’s mission is to “assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance”. OSHA covers private sector employers.
OSHA has established regulations designed to protect employees in the workplace so they have a safe workplace.
Communication of hazardous materials, safety training, injury reporting requirements, providing proper Personal Protective Equipment, testing and monitoring of health hazards are but a few areas OSHA has jurisdiction over.
OSHA On-Site Consultation Program
OSHA Workplace Poster
When might you get a visit from OSHA?
- Random inspection
- Worksites where high hazard operations are conducted
- There is a workplace fatality
- Employees complain about working conditions, failure to follow OSHA standards
What if we are cited by OSHA?
- The violation will identify the specific OSHA regulation
- A fine is generally imposed
- Employer has opportunity to work with OSHA to possibly mitigate fine
- OSHA has training assistance many industries can take advantage of to help rectify violations
- If an employee reports their employer to OSHA they have whistleblower protection
What can a business do to help prepare for potential OSHA visit?
- Leverage information OSHA makes available: Some examples below.
- Recognize hazards in your workplace
- Properly communicate hazards and precautions to workers
- Have Emergency Plan in place
- Fire Safety & Mean of Egress
- Working surfaces / fall protection
- Medical and First Aid supplies
- Machinery Guarding
- Electrical Safety
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts)
- Workplace surveys, walkthrough checklists
- Establish and Safety & Health Program
- Employee training
- Keeping appropriate records