10 Steps to Take to Make Your Facility OSHA Compliant
Safety is a number one concern for many businesses– and it should be! It’s up to every organization to follow the standards devised by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure the safety of their employees. An initial reaction may be that creating a safe facility for workers is common sense, but OSHA regulations are much more than that. Being OSHA compliant means attention to detail to every aspect of your facility.
What Does it Mean to Be OSHA Compliant
Being OSHA compliant means to adhere to every rule and standard set forth by OSHA to ensure the safety of employees. Many of those standards are unique to different facilities and industries, however, all of them were created to minimize workplace illnesses and injuries. Employers must comply by making sure their facility is free of serious hazards and by making sure employees are protected by potential hazards accordingly.
Top Ways to Ensure Your Facility is OSHA Compliant
OSHA has established countless regulations for the safety of workplaces, but we’ve put together a list of ten general steps to help you establish a compliant facility. While it may seem tempting to cut corners to save a little bit of money or time, doing so can be disastrous and more expensive in the future, with severe injuries or even fatalities and costly workers’ compensation lawsuits. It is better for everyone involved to follow all of OSHA’s guidelines.
First and foremost, familiarize yourself with OSHA requirements regularly for everything that may be within your facility. Our list below is not exhaustive by any means and there are entire sets of standards for each of these steps and more. All are worthwhile measures in making your facility safe for your employees.
1. Keep your facility free of hazards
Some types of hazards are defined by OSHA as not safe to have in a facility at all. Your first step as an employer is to ensure that none of these forbidden hazards are in your employee’s work areas.
2. Mark potential hazards
In many industries, some hazards are necessary for operation. For example, it is not unusual to see harmful chemicals and dangerous equipment used in some industries. A key standard of having these hazards in your facility, however, is making sure they are clearly marked and that employees know how to protect themselves from injury. Use color codes, signs, labels, and posters to alert employees to potential hazards.
3. Have emergency procedures in place
This is a very expansive topic and you will need to comply with every OSHA standard in this regard to ensure the safety of your employees. Emergency procedures, generally, can mean having a set of actions required by employees in case of any type of emergency. For example, fire safety is important in every type of facility. Make sure you have plans in place to prevent fires and for when there is a fire. One part of this is making sure you have plenty of clearly marked exits. You should also have a fully-stocked first aid kit on site for any small emergencies and injuries. Depending on the workplace, some facilities, however, may also require medical and first-aid personnel on site.
4. Provide personal protective equipment
Employers should provide every employee with the necessary PPE, at no cost to the employee. This can include, but is not limited to: masks, protective eyewear, proper clothing, respirators, and noise protection. For employees working at great heights, fall protection should also be provided. It’s worth it to note, however, that OSHA would prefer employees be kept out of any situation that requires PPE.
5. Make sure walkways and workstations are clean and clear
Clear walkways and workstations of any clutter and make sure there are procedures in place to clean any spills immediately after they occur. This prevents falls and other serious accidents.
6. Maintain equipment properly
Any machinery that is used should be in proper working order. Fix or replace any broken, dirty, or malfunctioning equipment. This also means a process for regular inspection of equipment.
Make sure guards are used around any equipment with sharp blades. There are also standards for equipment that may start unexpectedly or release hazardous energy. Wiring deficiencies are often cited by OSHA, so it is crucial that everything electrical is well-maintained. There are also specific standards for when there are any vehicles, like forklifts, used in the workplace.
7. Provide training for employees
Safety training is essential to ensuring employees know how to properly operate equipment and know what actions to take in case of an emergency. Also helpful may be a jobsite safety and health program, though this is not required by OSHA.
8. Display OSHA poster
Workers have the right to a safe workplace and should know and understand that right. Display the OSHA poster where employees can see them. OSHA has the poster available in English, Spanish, and other languages. At WireCrafters, we share these on bulletin boards throughout our plant.
9. Record and report injury and illness
Employers should keep a thorough record of all workplace injuries and illnesses. Workplace fatalities are to be reported to OSHA within eight hours and other severe injuries are to be reported within 24 hours. This step does not prevent harm, however, it demonstrates an organization’s commitment to compliance which also demonstrates business integrity.
10. Immediately fix any violations
After an inspection, any violations found should be remedied as quickly as possible. The violations should also be posted in the area.
Like we mentioned previously, this list contains only a few tips to making your facility OSHA compliant. We highly recommend finding what applies to you and your organization on the OSHA website and making sure you are following every applicable standard. The safety of your facility, and thereby the safety of your employees, is what is most important.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Additional guidelines and standards for general industry can be found on the OSHA website.
WireCrafters’ Commitment to Safety
WireCrafters provides our customers with innovative and reliable solutions for their safety needs as well as their security and storage needs. All of our equipment solutions are designed through the lens of OSHA compliance. We will be glad to help you, or if you wish, you can use one of our local dealers who will assist you with your current safety concerns. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, and look forward to working with you to solve your wire partition and equipment needs.