Are you running your own business? Among the many different requirements you need to work on, the health and safety of your employees in the workplace are paramount.
Thus, the United States government established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) back in 1970. The agency’s primary goal is to ensure the safety and health of workers. According to data from OSHA, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries in 2017.
In 2014, over 4,000 workers died while in their respective workplaces.
As a business owner, you need to understand what does OSHA do concerning these matters?
Continue reading below as we break down OSHA and how it affects you and the welfare of your employees.
What Does OSHA Do? A Lowdown
What does OSHA do? The OSHA’s official mission focuses on guaranteeing employees, both men and women alike, a safe and healthy workplace. They achieve this by monitoring the workplace environment, providing training, and giving business owners specific guidelines to follow.
Enforcing such standards means working with business owners. The OSHA expects the latter to comply with certain standards.
What Is OSHA?
As an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA’s main task is to implement the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Moreover, OSHA can enforce its occupational safety and health laws. They can also conduct research concerning new rules.
Importance of OSHA
The value of OSHA is encompassing. It brings benefits not only for the employees but also for the business owners. It also impacts the entire community.
By ensuring a safe and healthy working environment, the OSHA helps foster productivity.
A study revealed that employees tend to work harder when they are happy. Incidentally, their health and safety at work directly affect their happiness. When employees are happy, they tend to provide top-notch service.
As an employer, you are also boosting the morale of your people. You are inspiring them to become loyal to the company. In turn, you are strengthening your company’s reputation.
OSHA regulations also help reduce the number of future accidents. Through their regulations, you can easily identify any health hazards within the workplace. You can improve in these areas to create a safer working environment.
Through the OSH Act, you can empower your people. You can increase their knowledge of health and safety.
When it comes to your company’s finances, complying with the OSHA can translate into more savings. By reducing the incidents of accidents and illnesses, you are saving money from medical and legal expenses.
Who Does the OSH Act Cover?
One of the biggest questions in the minds of business owners involves the coverage of the OSH Act. Who does the OSH Act cover? Interestingly, the law says that the Act covers all employees.
But there are exemptions as the Act does not cover public employees working in local and state governments. The same thing goes for self-employed people. But public employees may still enjoy coverage through their state’s plan that the OSHA approved.
Other exemptions to OSHA requirements include businesses coming from the finance, service, retail, real estate, and insurance sectors. This is because the law classifies these sectors as low-hazard. The same thing applies to companies that have employees numbering 10 and below.
Your Duties as a Business Owner
As a responsible business owner, there are certain responsibilities you need to attend to. You need to make sure that your workplace is free of any health and safety hazards. For example, you need to make sure that the stairs in your building are of top-notch quality.
You can do so by hiring a reputable stairs manufacturing company. These are companies that are capable of creating safe and reliable products.
Furthermore, you need to comply with the standards, requirements, and regulations. These include providing medical assistance for employees who sustain injuries and illnesses at work. You should also provide ample tools and protective gear for your employees’ safety.
The law also expects you to provide ample OSHA training. You should also report any fatalities caused by accidents within eight hours of the incident.
Moreover, you should also report any accident that results in hospitalization. Also, you should compile records of illnesses and accidents that will take place within the year.
Another important aspect you need to understand is the OSHA inspections. You need to train your employees on how to handle these inspections. Generally, OSHA inspectors will have questions about the safety practices in your workplace.
In turn, it is best to have a point person that you will designate to answer the questions. You should also expect the OSHA to check for any health and safety hazards in your office. You should also give your staff a heads up on what to expect to avoid confusion.
Bear in mind that failure to comply with the regulations will merit citations from OSHA. When you receive a citation, you have the right to contest it within a specific period.
If you fail to pay your citation, you will have to deal with stiffer penalties. Moreover, the citation will reflect badly on your company. You will have a hard time bidding for future government contracts in the future.
Go Deep with OSHA
Thankfully, you have all the valuable information on health and safety at your disposal. The OSHA offers technical assistance, compliance tools, and publications for free. You can use these resources to get a better understanding of the regulations.
You can also visit their website to arrange consultations and training. You may also tap them for strategic partnerships. You may also take advantage of their grants and state plans. You can also enjoy their voluntary protection programs.
Cover All Bases Through Education
What does OSHA do? Its main focus is to ensure employees are happy and safe. If your business follows OSHA’s guidelines, you’ll not only end up with happy workers but you’ll also enjoy a boost in production too.
We encourage you to check our different articles and blog posts. We discuss topics on office operations and subjects that help companies grow.