As the OSHA Act of 1970 turns 45, it’s important to remember that workplace safety is still a top priority. Keeping your employees safe not only keeps them happy but could also save you money if they’re able to stay on the job for longer periods of time.
For these reasons and more, employers must understand their obligations when it comes to staying compliant with OSHA regulations. OSHA non-compliance comes with great consequences.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how you can go about conducting checks and maintain compliance with federal standards in your work environment!
Whenever you’re ready to dive deep into this essential topic of workplace safety, keep reading.
What Is OSHA Compliance?
OSHA compliance is the mandate for employers to create a safe work environment by meeting federal standards. The OSHA Act of 1970 was put into place to assure workplaces are as close to zero injury levels as possible. And while this is an ambitious goal, it’s something that we should all be striving towards!
To stay compliant, there are some requirements you’ll need to meet.
- Offer your employees training on safety precautions within their job description, so they know what risks exist where they’re working and how best to avoid them (OSHA requires at least one day per year)
- Provide personal protective equipment like hard hats or gloves
- Create formalized workplace policies
- Conduct routine checks for the safety of your employees
- Keep records on those workplace policies and inspections
- Provide a safe work environment by meeting federal standards.
- Conduct your workplace inspections at least once a year
It’s worth noting that you can often find out about any infractions during this visit, so it pays off in two ways! If you’re not yet familiar with which laws pertain specifically to your business type (or if you plan on changing), then take some time now to do some research.
There’ll likely be an online course or program available through the official OSHA website. You can also find them with third-party organizations.
How to Conduct Compliance Checks?
OSHA is required to investigate unsafe work conditions. This includes those caused by a lack of permits. Suppose it finds a violation due to the company’s negligence.
In that case, OSHA will issue fines and require corrections. One can obtain permits through your local municipal office. However, even if they’re not, you still may have liability for any violations found.
OSHA conducts spot inspections at random. But you can request a full inspection of your facility. This is done by contacting OSHA with the appropriate paperwork.
You’ll want to know when an inspector will be coming so that they don’t catch you unprepared. As it would lead to more fines and potential consequences.
So to ensure your business complies before the official OSHA check, you should conduct an OSHA compliance check of your own.
To do this, you need to perform the following steps:
Check for any infractions during your inspection and address them with employees. If you do not check for infractions, it becomes more likely to create an unsafe work environment due to a lack of intervention in potentially dangerous situations.
Infractions can include anything from exposure to hazardous materials without appropriate protection equipment being provided, potential injury risks given inadequate job training/supervision, or even new construction projects without proper permits being obtained.
This could lead to violations against OSHA’s General Duty Clause. It requires employers to provide their workers with safe working conditions.
Next, you must conduct regular workplace inspections at least once per year to ensure compliance with regulations. If you’re not yet familiar, then take some time now to research what type of regulation is specific to your business type.
Inspections conducted on existing structures or new construction projects must include an inspection report, among other requirements, which vary depending upon whether the project was federally funded or not.
State and local agencies are also allowed to conduct inspections in an emergency. These may happen without prior notice.
It’s a good idea to be prepared for them with documentation you can provide as evidence. It should prove that your company is up to date on safety practices.
Make sure your employees are aware of any regulations or safety policies that apply to them. Take an inventory of your current safety measures. This should include any new practices you can implement to stay compliant.
Review records of incidents involving work-related injuries or illnesses. Review all requests for medical attention due to workplace hazards.
It might be tempting to hire contractors without checking their credentials. Most of the time, they do offer more affordable rates.
Still, when doing so, you risk violating state laws. You become vulnerable to expensive enforcement actions.
A consequence of not following these steps is that your business can be fined and face other legal consequences. This is for neglecting worker safety standards. Consequently, leading to issues with attracting new employees in the long run.
Workers’ Comp for Your Enterprise
Now that you understand the importance of OSHA compliance and how you can perform checks, you are well on your way to ensure your business is in the “green”. As long as you follow the regulations and guidelines pertinent to your business, you’ll be fine.
If you’re interested in affordably priced workers’ comp, which is required by law for all businesses under OSHA, get in touch with us, and we will accommodate your needs.