OSHA regulations are designed to keep you and the people in your business safe, but as a business owner, you also need to be aware of their regulations so you can keep your company safe from liability. Dealing with OSHA compliance can take some work to get down, but once you understand it, you can help to make your business a better place to be. Here are a few things that could get your company in trouble with OSHA if you aren’t being careful to stay in compliance with OSHA regulations.
Not Performing Safety Inspections
Once you get safety protocols in place, you may think that you are good to go from that point forward. However, it is important that you regularly perform safety inspections to make sure that those protocols are still being followed and that you aren’t doing anything that might get you in trouble with OSHA. These inspections are required and they can also help you to catch issues before they become more significant problems. Dealing with safety inspections may feel like another annoying task on your list, but if you make it a regular part of your schedule it is a lot easier and it will help you to make sure that you are creating a safe workplace.
Ignoring Basic Hygiene
Hygiene can feel pretty self explanatory, but it is important that you make it clear that basic hygiene is expected in your workplace. If your employees let things like washing their hands and keeping surfaces clean fall through the cracks, your business might get in trouble with OSHA. It’s important that you have clear hygiene standards and that you post them so your employees know what they should be doing to keep themselves safe and clean in the workplace. This practice will make your workplace cleaner and protect you from potential compliance issues that you might otherwise face.
Failing to Use PPE
Part of protecting your employees at work is making sure that everyone is using the right PPE and that they are using it correctly. If you fail to make this the standard at your company, you may find yourself dealing with a major issue with OSHA. Depending on the kind of work that your employees are doing, the kind of PPE that is required can vary significantly. That’s why you need to make sure that you are staying on top of the PPE regulations that apply to your business and your employees. Keeping your employees in the right PPE will keep them safe and protect you from potential trouble.
If there is machinery that must be used in your line of work, it is important that it is used correctly and for the right purpose. Repurposing machinery or using it incorrectly can get your business in a lot of trouble. One important step to avoid this kind of issue is to make sure that every employee is properly trained on how to use machinery before they ever use it. This training will help ensure the safety of your team and keep you in compliance with OSHA regulations since everyone will be using the machinery correctly. All the equipment used on the job from manufacturing machinery to forklift trailer mover attachments must be OSHA-compliant at your workplace.
Forgetting about Machine Guarding
In addition to using machines appropriately, there are also some safety regulations that need to be in place around certain types of machines. This process is called machine guarding and it helps to keep your employees and others who walk through your business safe. Elements of machine guarding include barriers and signage about dangerous machinery. Not including these elements if they are required is a serious OSHA issue and it is one of the most common problems that businesses have with OSHA compliance.
When there are accidents or injuries at your workplace it is important that they are reported to OSHA in a timely manner. While you may be worried that reporting these issues might get you in trouble, the trouble will be far more severe if you fail to report them. OSHA counts on businesses to report issues and that mandatory reporting is in place to help them have a better idea of what is going on at various businesses. If you fail to report a problem and one of your employees does, it can look bad for your business and put you and the others in your company at risk for a major problem with OSHA.
If you have a particular problem and are reprimanded (or warned) by OSHA and you fail to solve that problem moving forward, you can get into very serious trouble. It is important that you take any guidance you receive from OSHA seriously and that you work to ensure that your business is kept safe from future citations. If OSHA sees that you are continuing to have the same unsafe elements of your environment at your company even after facing them, you show a pattern of negligence. That can get your business into seriously hot water with the people at OSHA.
Poor Record Keeping
OSHA is also concerned with the records you are keeping in relation to the safety of your business. This means that you need to make sure that you are keeping accurate records. If there are inconsistencies or untruths in your records it won’t look good for you and your business. Make sure you keep accurate records so you and your business are in good shape if you are ever inspected by OSHA. The more accurate your records are, the more protected you will be if an issue does come up.
Staying safe from OSHA violations is an essential part of running a modern business. You also want to make sure that you are keeping your records up to date so you know where your business stands with safety. By making a safer work environment you protect your employees and stay on OSHA’s good side.
Read this next: When you need to be more cautious about workplace safety
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