The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States, Under the Department of Labor and was created by congress in 1971. OSHA is responsible for protection of workers including their health, safety at work, and managing heathy environment. In 1971, after the deaths of 1400+ workers and 2.5 million employees with disabilities each year, OSH Act is enforced to provide secure and healthy working environment by the enforcement of laws and standards and by the provision of training, education and support.
OSHA's mission is to avoid and prevent recognized hazards that are causing injuries, diseases and deaths associated with working environment. OSHA also aims to give opportunity to employers, labor union, trade and professional groups, government agencies, medical and educational organizations to work with OSHA to avoid recognized hazards.
"OSHA Protect your employees and your business."
Conducting regular meetings is a basic and strongly encouraged requirement to discuss health and security issues related to work place but is not necessary for small businesses. Employer must also ensure that their employees have expertise to take reasonable care and can handle relevant circumstances. Employers must do workplace inspection for finding possible risks and reduce the risk, informing all the staff and offer safety training according to standard rules, insuring that their employees have expertise to take reasonable care and can handle relevant circumstances, keeping records of workplace injuries and health records. OSHA requires employees to follow guidelines and standards set by OSHA including use of protective equipment, reporting injuries and health issues, taking care of their own health and others according to OSHA criteria, reporting hazardous circumstances.
State level OSHA requirements may differ from federal requirements as they are allowed to create and develop programs in such a way that would suit better than federal requirements. Currently twenty-four states and two territories of United States have their own safety programs but most of the measurements are similar in federal and state level OSHA.
In workplaces, most of these injuries include slips, trips and falls, and muscle strains, hit by falling objects, repetitive strain injury, crashes and collisions, cuts and lacerations, Inhaling toxic fumes, Exposure to loud noise, walking into objects, fights at work, being caught In or struck by moving machinery, transportation and vehicle-related accidents, explosions, overexertion and repetitive stress injuries. When there are unsafe working conditions in any working environment than there is a higher chance hazards and the risks. These risks include strategic risk, compliance risk, operational risk, financial risk, and reputational risk.
OSHA safety measures to protect workers:
- Duties of employees: Safety of worker can be ensured if workers took care of their own and other employee's health and safety by cooperating with anything that employer does to comply with OHS requirements. An employee can also ensure safety of other employees by not intentionally or recklessly misuse anything provided at the workplace. An employee should know how to handle any unfortunate circumstances at the workplace.
- Involve your employees in safety planning: Security of employees can be enhanced by involving them in safety planning. Better the workers know, better there response can be.
- Voice of employees: Employees can contribute to safety culture of workplace if and only if their fresh thoughts about safety will get attention and concern by employer.
- Give clear working instructions: Employer should make it sure that employees understood all safety instructions by reviewing and confirming that they know what they are being told.
- Focusing on each individual: Employees who are performing tasks in instructed manned should be praised and those who are taking shortcuts that could reduce safety should be fined or punished.
- Machines in working state: Employer must ensure that all machinery is in good state and working order. A routine maintenance program will be beneficial to identify the state of machinery.
- Safety of Workers: Safety meetings deal out important safety measure information to company employees and give them a chance to ask questions about communicating polices and monitoring the safety program. It covers accident prevention, Risks related to strategic, compliance, operational, financial, and reputational. Safety meetings also includes shop-safety rules, emergency procedures, and hygiene. Each month or week we can arrange safety, first aid training, and handling fire extinguishers exercises by conducting safety meetings.
- Concentrate your safety efforts on most important issues: Eliminating the small safety violations that are causing common injuries and planning for serious safety issues should be your concern.
- Safe working environment: Creation of safe working environments can eliminate potential safety issues.
- Clean working environment: Maintaining a clean working environment by removing clutter and other safety issues will help employees to be more creative and disciplined at workplace.
- Avoidance of unnecessary risks: By routine inspection of workplace regularly, an employer can identify any unnecessary risk.
- Review of safety guidelines each year: Inspection of workplace and safety program is necessary as with each new day we face new challenges or risks that can only be handled by polishing the safety standards.
Have a Safe Day!
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