OSHA & YOUR BUSINESS: A Where-To-Start Guide by Sherry Robertson
Undisputed facts about OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration):
OSHA is the law.
If you employ other people, you must pay attention to OSHA. That goes for all companies: the white-collar office,
to the retail or service centers, to the blue-collar manufacturers.
The #1 misconception about OSHA compliance is, “OSHA doesn’t apply to my business.” In fact, it does!
If you’re in doubt, see fact #1!
KEEP IN MIND
Every company needs a safety and health management system.
The breadth and extent of those programs—including what areas on your job site should be reviewed for hazards,
what needs to be in writing, what training needs to be conducted, and what records need to be kept—depend on
For this site, we focus on the needs of small businesses.
WHERE TO START: READ THESE BOOKLETS FIRST
1) OSHA's Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines
Information-rich but not “heavy reading,” this 36-page guide provides the recommended practices and sound, flexible
framework for addressing safety and health issues in your workplace. While useful in any workplace, it’s particularly
helpful in small and medium-sized workplaces. It can be applied equally well in traditional, fixed manufacturing workplaces
and in the service sector, healthcare, retail, and mobile or office-based work environments. It also includes information
specifically aimed at temporary worker and multiemployer work situations.
2) The OSHA Small Business Handbook.
|* Need a custom Safety Manual? * Have one, but need additional materials to meet OSHA's requirements?
* Are you concerned about an OSHA Audit? * Is OSHA coming back to your site for a second inspection?
Let me know how I can help!
Sherry Robertson, PHR, SHRM-CP Sherry@igoinsurance.com C: 919-819-3335
Best to read after reading #1, this publication helps small business employers meet the legal requirements of OSHA.
Yes, it’s more information-dense than the above. The primary benefit is how it guides a business through each compliance
component of the law, and does this with the help of over 40 self-inspection checklists. It includes “The Four-Point
Workplace Program” detailing what every worksite should have in place to protect workers from occupational hazards.
The self-inspection checklists cover:
Processing, Receiving, Shipping and Storage
Building and Grounds Conditions
Lighting Heating and Ventilation
Hand and Power Tools
First Aid Program/Supplies
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO HAVE IN COMPANY SAFETY HANDBOOK?
This is not a question with a simple answer. For a list of items that are recommended be covered in your Company’s Safety
Handbook, click here.
There are 24 items; about half are Operations-oriented and the other half are Human Resources-oriented.
WHAT ELSE WILL YOUR COMPANY NEED?
Does your workplace have hazardous chemicals?
To ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities
and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
requires the development and dissemination of such information. Because of the hazardous chemical’s presence, employers must
comply with “The Right-to-Know Law” which cover these major areas:
Evaluation of Hazardous Chemicals
A Written Communication Program
Labeling of Hazardous Chemicals
Material Safety Data Sheets
Posting requirements to inform employees
Employee Training on where to find SDS book and how to read and interpret SDS
Do you have 11 or more employees?
If so, then your OSHA also requires your business to:
1) Create a health and safety committee:
The committee must include staff and management. It is in place to create a 4 point
Management commitment & employee involvement
Hazard prevention & control
Training for employees, supervisions & managers
(Also see Appendix B in the Small Business Handbook)
The Committee is also in place to:
Review risk and for self-auditing
Correct anything that caused accidents
Track every accident that happens
Report accidents to your Workers’ Comp carrier
Conduct any training and annual updates on training
Hold monthly meetings and review safety topics with the staff. Sample topics can be pulled from the OSHA Small Business Handbook
2) Post the OSHA 300 log from Feb 1 to Apr 30 each year.
This is a log that records and posts work-related injuries and illnesses
that result in:
Loss of an eye
Loss of consciousness
Days away from work
Restricted work activity or job transfer
Medical treatment beyond first aid. First aid is NOT recordable. Everything is recordable, but only major incidents are REPORTABLE.
OSHA Compliance: Complex and time-consuming? Yes. Achieving compliance is not a simple fix. But it can potentially reduce: liability,
Workers’ comp claims, and accidents, and show employees that you care by implementing the safer environment.