OSHA Standards: A Quick Guide to Health and Safety Compliance

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Why comply with OSHA standards?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets and enforces standards to assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women. OSHA standards are a set of laws and regulations organized into five categories: General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture, and Federal Employee Programs. Adherence to OSHA standards protects workers from deadly safety hazards and health risks at work. Here are 5 simple steps that will help your organization easily comply with OSHA standards:

1. Develop an effective health and safety policy

Senior management should create a health and safety policy with clear objectives, indicating the basic health and safety philosophy of the organization. State the general responsibilities of all employees such as not sacrificing personal safety for expediency. As soon as the incumbent CEO signs the health and safety policy, it should be communicated to each employee and carried out with no exceptions. Environmental, health, and safety managers should update these guidelines when applicable OSHA standards change and integrate it with lessons learned from past incidents, new insights from recent trainings, and more efficient SOPs.

 

2. Enable frontline workers to respond proactively

OSHA standards can be easily met when organizations empower frontline workers to mitigate health and safety risks at the onset. Before commencing work, site supervisors should regularly conduct an OSHA toolbox talk for workers to be aware or reminded of job hazards, best practices, and preventive measures.

EHS managers should implement a real-time incident reporting through mobile-ready OSHA 300 forms to identify leading indicators to safe performance. Establishing an adaptive work environment allows employees to take greater ownership of occupational health and safety for themselves and their co-workers.

3. Maximize use of cost-effective digital tools

Office Safety Checklist

Proper recordkeeping and documentation of health and safety programs is critical in substantiating compliance with OSHA standards. Paper-based hazard assessments, safety inspections, and incident reports can be time-consuming and burdensome to use and manage. To easily comply with OSHA standards, EHS managers and frontline workers should take advantage of the world’s most powerful safety inspection software, iAuditor.

With iAuditor, you can capture photo evidence, assign corrective actions, automatically generate and share reports, store and secure data in the cloud, and track performance with real-time analytics. Providing a centralized health and safety management system builds a safety culture from the ground up and gives visibility on daily business operations.

4. Celebrate wins to boost motivation

EHS managers should recognize safe and on-time performance to encourage safe behavior in the workplace. Facilitate peer-to-peer observations, provide informal feedback, and engage in follow-up discussions to further support safe behavior among employees. Consistent hazard prevention, prompt incident reporting, proactive responses to safety issues, and appropriate solutions to recurrent problems should also be rewarded.

5. Stay updated by consulting the OSHA website regularly

Maintaining compliance with OSHA standards entails the commitment of the organization, its management, and all employees to prioritize health and safety. Visit OSHA’s FAQs to keep up with releases/revisions of OSHA standards such as the final rule to improve tracking workplace injuries and illnesses, new training requirements, and compliance audit schedules.