Workplace safety regulations are created to ensure worker safety. Ensuring worker safety also ensures businesses do not incur liability, should accidents happen. All types of businesses need to know and understand OSHA regulations and be able to apply them in the normal course of daily business operation. Even in a standard business office, there are OSHA regulations that apply to locating cubicles safe distances from each other and prominently displaying fire exit signs, as well as mandates for bi annual fire and safety drills.
How to Ensure Your Company Follows Safety Protocols
Following safety protocols in the workplace means providing a Policy and Procedures Manual at the time of hire of each new employee. This should be followed up by a formal oral review to ensure the new hire has read and clearly understands each citation in the Policy and Procedures Manual and also to uncover any potential questions about safety in the workplace the new hire may have.
Creating Safety Protocols in a Policy and Procedures Manual
In many workplaces, the Policy and Procedures Manual is reviewed by federal agencies who oversee updating of the manual, due to changes in business operations. For example, a manufacturer of volatile or flammable chemicals may add another new product that requires safety, hazard or Confined Space training. This should be updated in an existing manual prior to the review by OSHA agents.
The protocols in place should address the following issues:
- Individual employee safety responsibility in performance of their duties
- Management safety responsibility to ensure performance of employee duties are correctly followed
- Regular safety program reinforcements to address new issues or developments
- Providing real time safety drills
The manual should include all facility and departmental protocols. The manual should also include applicable OSHA citations, the names of local emergency contacts and local and federal regulatory agencies to be contacted immediately. The business should designate safety leaders in each employee group to cover any potential safety problems that might occur.
Create Safety Groups
Every business should have at least two safety leaders who regularly monitor the daily performance of business duties by employees. This ensures your company follows safety protocols as directed by the OSHA compliance. Each leader should be assigned a specific number of employees so that safety drills can be conducted in a comprehensive, organized manner. For example, in a processing facility like MTA Australasia, maintaining and ensuring OSHA workplace safety acts as a guide for employee compliance as directed by the company.
Savvy business owners protect themselves from liability by crafting a fully comprehensive policy and procedures manual that address workplace safety. This is supplemented by annual safety drills and programs based on the most recent OSHA compliance regulations. A strong, proactive OSHA workplace safety program is an asset with cost-effective investment by business owners.