Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

5 Things Business Owners Need to Know About OSHA Rules and Regulations

If you own a business, you need to be aware of your responsibilities under OSHA. Here are 5 of the most important things you should know about OSHA rules.

Can you name the country where 14 people die on the job every single day?

The answer is the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 people were killed on the job in 2016. The number is staggering, but what’s worse is that most of those deaths were preventable.

As an employer in the United States, you must abide by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act designed to ensure that everyone has a safe place to work.

Do you know the OSHA rules for employers? Keep reading to learn the five most important employer responsibilities under OSHA.

1. Get Rid of Recognized Hazards

Creating a safe workplace takes attention to detail, but it’s neither expensive nor difficult. The OSH Act highlighted the most serious recognized hazards in the legislation – all you need to do as the employer is follow it.

What are some of the most common hazards? Here are the top five most frequent violations for the year 2017:

  • Fall protection (on construction sites)
  • Hazard communication standards (for general industry)
  • Scaffolding (construction)
  • Respiratory protection (general industry)
  • Control of hazardous energy (general industry)
  • Ladders (construction)

Each of these is a common workplace occurrence that’s easy to fix by following OSHA guidelines.

2. Routinely Assess Conditions to Make Sure They Still Conform

So your scaffolding was set-up correctly? Great, but your job isn’t done.

Employers need to perform safety and hazard checks on a regular basis to ensure conditions haven’t changed and safety isn’t impacted.

Your best bet is to get to know the OSHA standards that best apply to you so that it’s easy to spot something that’s gone awry.

3. Create, Train, Follow and Update Operating Procedures

Employers must create safe, OSHA-compliant work procedures and make them clear to every employee – old and new. These procedures should be created and then deployed to workers through training.

For example, in workplaces where employees encounter bloodborne pathogens, employers may use training like to formally train and test employee skills before starting work.

You also need an accountability system in place to ensure they are followed as well as to update the procedures as necessary.

4. Report Injuries and Fatalities within Eight Hours

In the event of a fatal accident, employers must report the incident to their nearest OSHA office within eight hours of occurrence. In addition to fatalities, employers must also share information about:

  • Work-related inpatient hospitalizations
  • Amputations
  • Losses of an eye

To report, call 1-800-321-6742.

5. Keep Track of Health and Injury Records

All work-related injuries and illnesses need to be on the record unless you are in a small, low-hazard industry and have confirmation of being exempt from this requirement.

Employees also need to be able to access these records and other medical records at their request.

Follow OSHA Rules to Protect Your Employees and Business

OSHA rules aren’t just bureaucracy – they keep employees safe. By following their guidelines, we can lower the number of preventable workplace deaths and injuries.

Still getting to grips with all the OSHA requirements for employers? Visit our blog for more information.