The importance of workplace safety cannot be underemphasized. The annual injuries and fatalities resulting from work related accidents continue to raise eyebrows. Worse still are the long-term debilitating effects that exposure to various hazards in the workplace has on employees. Some of these illnesses and deaths go unreported as they happen years after the employee has left service but there is no doubt that most of them emanate from work related toxic exposures. Due to inadequate safety measures, companies are losing millions in terms of suits and liability compensation. To avoid this, it is crucial that adequate safety measures be employed and properly enforced.
Taking advantage of OSHA regulations
Companies without own manuals on workplace safety can adopt the guidelines and standards set by OSHA. The role of OSHA towards enforcing workplace safety is undisputed. There are tens of guidelines on how employers can protect the employees from the various hazards lurking within. This includes proper use of signs, labels and markings to communicate effectively on the locations and nature of the hazards. The various hazards within the organization should be identified and marked. This should be done using conspicuous signs and in an easily understandable language.
Involving the staff
Employees are the most important stakeholders of any workplace safety plan. They are the executors and also the recipients; they can determine its success or failure. The existing regulations on workplace safety lay emphasis on the involvement of the employees in the planning and laying down of the standards. In addition, employees have immense rights and can petition the involvement of the court should they feel aggrieved by any of the set stipulations. The recommendations of the employees, their opinions and feedback on certain introduced safety measures should be taken into consideration. The training of the staff is also important to ensure they understand what is at stake and also on the interpretation of the various signs and markings.
Locating the hazards
To achieve safety within an organization it is crucial to identify the various hazards in place and take the appropriate measures. Depending on the core business of an organization there are bound to be a number of hazards in place. For the industrial organizations, the hazards are immeasurable; they maybe from hazardous wastes, construction sites, open electric lines, unsafe machines, slippery floors or from flammable substances. It is crucial that these hazards be identified and the correct measures taken. The most appropriate strategy is to erect signs and labels cautioning the employees of the presence of hazardous materials and also advising on the appropriate course of action to take.
Paying attention to employees health problems
Some of the hazards within an organization may not result to immediate problems but rather may be manifested after a number of years. It is hence crucial to keep a record of the major health complaints and consult an expert to ascertain whether they may be caused by exposure to any chemical or conditions within the organization. If there is a commonality in symptoms it is important that you undertake a comprehensive medical checkup and erect the appropriate measures to arrest the cause of the problem.
- Enforcing Workplace Safety Measures to Avoid Liabilities
- How to Enforce Workplace Safety
- Enforcing Workplace Safety Standards through Industrial Color Codes
- Workplace Safety Rules and Regulations
- The Core Functions of OSHA
- OSHA’s Priority Areas in Workplace Safety
- Lockout/Tagout – How to Ensure Safety and Avoid Citations