Recently, OSHA cited a sprinkler company working in Andover Mass. for alleged violations resulting in a 10′ fall on the job. The contractor faces $61,000 in proposed fines while the employee recovers from alleged serious injuries.
It is not clear whether or not the contractor had a fall protection program implemented or simply did not enforce the OSHA fall protection standard. As time goes on, contractors and small businesses are beginning to realize the effects of not having a company safety program.
A workplace safety manual is essential to achieving compliance and ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for employees. However, too many businesses still do not see the value in implementing such a manual. Reaching compliance with OSHA and keeping workers safe is a huge task.
Employers often perceive safety and compliance as an overwhelming burden and simply give up. However, there is a way to improve workplace conditions and reduce potential fines that could be proposed by OSHA. The first step is to establish a company safety program manual that outlines the company’s safety policies and procedures. This step is crucial as it lays the foundation of everything the employer does regarding workplace safety. So if employers cannot afford to hire a full time safety manager or a safety consultant they should do the following:
1. Write or purchase a basic workplace safety manual.
2. Fine tune the manual to fit your company needs.
3. Prioritize the policies and procedures you want to implement.
4. Initiate each policy or procedure one by one.
5. Review the entire program annually and adjust it as your operation changes.
If you are visited by OSHA, having a written workplace safety manual implemented will demonstrate that you are making an effort to keep workers safe and will also reduce the number of potential OSHA citations.