As an employer, it is your job to make sure that your people are safe. With certain exceptions, safety rules are enforced equally regardless of how large your company is, and a single violation could cost your business thousands of dollars. What are some pertinent OSHA standards that you should know about?
Employees Must Be Trained
Employers are required to provide their people with adequate training to do their jobs. In some cases, workers must be certified before using a machine such as a forklift. They should also be trained on proper lifting techniques or how to label toxic substances. Ideally, companies will provide training on an ongoing basis to all its workers.
Warning Signs Are a Must
Warning signs must be posted wherever a hazard may be found. These signs should be in both English and Spanish and have both text and pictures. This ensures that everyone who reads the sign understands what it means regardless of their native language or ability to read.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) ranges from gloves and a hard hat to a fall arrest system. These items will mitigate some or all the damage done by being hit with a falling object, falling from heights or handling dangerous materials. Employers should also have eye washing stations or decontamination showers available for their employees.
Establish an Emergency Plan
OSHA requires manufacturing companies to establish a fire safety plan. Ideally, you will create plans to deal with a wide variety of emergencies such as chemical spills, natural disasters or an active shooter situation. Workers should know where the nearest exits are and who to report an emergency situation to if one occurs.
Keep Docks Secure
Safety laws require that you keep docks properly secured at all times. This means installing guards that prevent employees from falling off of them. It also means installing doors that stay locked when not in use. Electrical wires should be checked regularly to be sure that they are not frayed or otherwise damaged. Pipes, steps, and railings need to be constantly monitored to ensure that they are in good shape.
While running a manufacturing center can be a profitable endeavor, it can be a dangerous one for your workers. If a worker is hurt, you could be liable for paying workers’ compensation and other costs. An OSHA fine could result in further financial pain as well as tarnish your brand’s image.
Author Harper Harmon is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently resides in Santa Cruz with her dog, Sassy.