OSHA Compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is the Federal Department of Labor regulatory agency responsible for workplace safety and health. While it is their “mission” to enforce workplace health and safety regulations, our opinion is that a large percentage of OSHA’s regulations address unsafe conditions and not unsafe work practices which are the main cause of the majority of workplace injuries. Because of this, we feel that it is possible to have a very OSHA compliant safety program and still have injuries occurring all the time. We don’t believe it is possible to regulate human behavior. Drive on any major roadway in America and observe how many drivers are obeying the posted speed limit and it will make our point. 

How Does OSHA Work?

OSHA conducts inspections of America’s workplaces to determine compliance with their regulations. The majority of their inspections are the result of employee complaints, known or reported accidents where there are employee injuries, or what are called Special Emphasis Programs. These are inspections of establishments where there are known to be recognized hazards that they do not feel are being reasonably addressed by the normal inspection process or there are not specific enough regulations to address the specific hazards.

How to Address OSHA Compliance

Given OSHA’s inspection priorities, their ever-reducing budget, and which party is in the White House, it is unlikely that you will ever have an inspection if you have a good safety program, never have any serious injuries, and respond promptly to employee safety concerns. We tell all of our clients that they have two levels of liability when it comes to their worker’s safety. The first, and we believe more important liability, is that an employee may get seriously injured and there could be a significant business, financial, and employee consequences as a result of it. The second, and we believe less important liability is that of having an OSHA inspection.

As important as it is to respond appropriately to an OSHA inspection, involvement in dozens of OSHA inspections and the following citations and corrective actions have shown us that they are largely time-consuming, cause the company to spend money and resources paying penalties and fixing non-compliant issues that, in many cases, would rarely, if ever, have a direct impact on employee injuries. This is not the fault of OSHA but rather their regulations and the conundrum that most accidents/injuries come from unsafe acts and not unsafe conditions.

We work with companies to make as sure as possible that their employees have safe work practices and that their written compliance programs reflect what they actually do for safety instead of writing programs that parrot the OSHA standard that is not the way their employees work.

Keep Your Operations OSHA-Compliant

To learn more about our Health & Safety Consulting and our OSHA Compliance Services, schedule a free consultation by filling out the form below:

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