What is OSHA compliance all about, what are the most common OSHA violations, and how to become compliant with OSHA requirements
Published 28 Mar 2023
OSHA compliance means following all applicable OSHA regulations for employers, employees, and businesses. Compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) requirements helps facilitate safety and security in the workplace as well as promote a working environment that is conducive to productivity and efficiency.
OSHA compliance at work
The short answer is yes, compliance with OSHA is required by law and is applicable to all 50 states and all US jurisdictions. Considering the broad coverage of OSHA across US territories, almost all organizations, employers, and employees are required to comply with OSHA requirements.
Some exemptions are given for certain entities and for employers who have 10 or fewer employees for an entire calendar year. The following are also exempted according to OSHA:
Federal OSHA also does not cover employees of state and local government agencies but they are still protected under existing OSHA-approved programs on the state level.
Not only will adherence to OSHA requirements promote safety at work, but also help promote efficiency. Studies have shown that compliance with workplace health and safety regulations optimizes the business for productivity because of the following reasons:
Some of the consequences of non-compliance with OSHA requirements are penalties per violation that can amount to thousands of dollars, legal action, and damaged reputation.
Employers and managers should watch out for these top 10 OSHA violations and take steps to avoid having their business get cited for any of them:
The first step to avoid getting cited for any OSHA violation is to be aware of which OSHA standards are applicable to your business and employees. OSHA standards are divided into 4 main groups:
General industry has its set of health and safety standards that apply to the most diverse number of workers and worksites that do not fall under agriculture, construction, or maritime industries.
The agriculture industry involves harvesting crops and raising livestock that provide animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy, and wool. Considering the risks that accompany farm work, OSHA has provided health and safety standards for agricultural operations.
OSHA standards for the maritime industry covers the work involved in the construction, repair, and scrapping of vessels, as well as the movement of cargo and other materials that involve the use of vessels.
One of the biggest industries in the US, construction is one of the industries with the most cited OSHA violations (fall protection, scaffolding, ladders) and as such, OSHA has provided resources to help make construction work safer.
Once you are aware of which OSHA category the business belongs to and which OSHA standards are applicable to the organization, managers and training officers can help with formulating OSHA compliance training for workers and implementing monitoring methods to reinforce safety.
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
Create and provide OSHA compliance training based on what’s required for your workplace. Make use of OSHA training courses that are already curated and made available for your employees. Encourage the completion of training courses by using Training on mobile, making training courses more accessible, easier to understand, and effective.
After empowering employees with the proper training, monitor the health and safety of your workplace by using best practice OSHA compliance checklists that can help guide internal auditors on what to look out for. There are free OSHA compliance checklists that safety officers and managers can download and use in the workplace to not only encourage OSHA compliance but also promote worker health and safety.
To further increase workplace safety and be at par with existing standards, it is also an option to utilize employee GPS tracking tools. These tools enable employers and safety managers to view employees’ real-time location, especially the lone-working ones. Likewise, workers can immediately send alerts and notifications through the app as needed.
Industry leaders use SafetyCulture to help their businesses comply with safety regulations and stay aligned with industry standards. As a monitoring tool for OSHA compliance, employers and managers can use the corresponding safety compliance checklists and templates with SafetyCulture to promote worker health and safety:
You can find more best practice checklists and templates related to OSHA among the thousands of free-to-download forms on our Public Library.
Utilize a powerful safety platform that helps industry leaders reinforce safety in the workplace through safety inspections and internal audits. Best for teams, SafetyCulture can help business owners and operators promote the health and safety of employees in compliance with OSHA regulations through the following:
Erick Brent Francisco
Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.
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