When it comes to workplace safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even if you think your business has very little risk of workplace injury or illness, it’s still important to check with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure that you’re fully compliant with federal workplace standards and regulations.
What is OSHA?
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly called OSHA, is a U.S. federal agency under Department of Labor that administers standards established by Congress to protect employees from injuries and illnesses arising out of work related activities. By law, all employers are required to provide workers with a workplace free from recognized hazards causing serious physical harm or death.
The employer must also comply with occupational safety and health standards in order to keep their workers safe. In addition, they have to train their employees on how to perform tasks safely and implement proper safety procedures. In case an employee gets injured while performing his job duties due to lack of training or unsafe working conditions, he can file a complaint against his employer for negligence. If an employee dies because of an unsafe working condition, his family members can file a claim against his employer for wrongful death.
Reasons Your Business Needs OSHA:
If you’re starting or managing a business, you might be wondering whether you need to be concerned about workplace safety and health inspections. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the power to fine your business if it doesn’t meet OSHA regulations.
While some businesses may think these regulations are too burdensome, there are several reasons why every business needs to keep up with OSHA compliance.
- Happy Employees are Healthy and Productive:
If your employees are happy, it’s going to show in their work. They’ll be more productive at work, and less likely to get injured. A recent survey showed that happy employees are up to 25% more productive than unhappy ones. In addition, companies that encourage workers to provide input into how they do their jobs have 50% fewer incidents than those who don’t. When a company is proactive about its safety measures, workers feel valued and appreciated—which leads to loyalty and commitment.
- Keeping up with the standards is important
Following workplace safety standards is an important part of running a business. Not only does it help you avoid fines, but also helps protect your workers from danger. This makes it especially important to make sure that you stay up-to-date on all of your industry’s health and safety regulations. While many business owners will have a general understanding of what’s required by law, you may still find yourself surprised by some of what OSHA requires businesses to do.
- Bring on consultants when you need help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider bringing in consultants to assist you. Whether you decide to outsource or use an internal resource, don’t be afraid to look outside your business for help. There are always ways you can improve your company and make sure it runs as smoothly as possible—and a little help from outside sources is almost always necessary. The key is knowing when (and how) to hire someone else.
- Protection means reduced costs in other areas
Protection against accidents, property damage and liability lawsuits is often cheaper than you might think. For example, having a safety program in place can reduce a company’s workers’ compensation costs by 15 to 20 percent—money that could be better spent on other needs. In addition, businesses with fewer workplace injuries generally experience lower health care premiums as well. Making employees feel safe also results in higher morale, which boosts productivity and quality control throughout your business.
- Compliance reports are a great marketing tool
Customer reviews can be an invaluable source of information, whether you’re running a business or managing a home office. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of your best bets when it comes to advertising. Surveys and reviews also allow you to keep track of exactly what customers think about your products and services.
- Investing in employees shows good faith
If you want to run a professional business, it’s important to invest in your employees. Proper training and safety equipment will prevent injury while simultaneously promoting employee health and morale. This can be an investment of time or money, but either way it shows that you care about your employees.
- Report accidents to protect future staff members
Any time an accident occurs in your business, it’s important to report it. Reporting accidents can help protect other workers from injury in two ways: first, by notifying OSHA that you have taken precautions (like providing proper training or safety equipment) to prevent further accidents from occurring; and second, by serving as a warning for other businesses that want to avoid similar issues.
- Regulations can save lives and reduce risk.
Every worker in America is protected by federal laws meant to ensure safe working conditions. Federal labor regulations, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, ensure that workers are properly protected from chemical and biological hazards, as well as physical injuries on-the-job. Without these regulations in place, there would be no way for workers to know how they’re supposed to work safely with chemicals and other potentially dangerous substances—it would be a case of trial-and-error at best.
- Compliance shows respect to clients and customers.
It’s important to remember that compliance shows clients and customers that your business takes their safety seriously. Safety is a concern for many businesses, but it’s not always a priority. By demonstrating that safety isn’t just another topic—but an active concern for your organization—your company can boost trust between you and your clients. While trust may not be easy to build, it can have a significant impact on your ability to win new business over time.
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