A couple of weeks ago, Polytron held a Machine Safety Imperative Seminar and one of the guest speakers was Bill Fulcher, Area District Director, in Atlanta. In recognition of National Safety Month, we would like to recap some of his talk.
OSHA is The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) which was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. This administration sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards.
They also provide information, training and assistance to employers and workers. Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace.
If you have employees – from one to thousands, working in house painting and lawn care to major manufacturing facilities – then OSHA’s workplace safety and health standards apply to you.
Employer’s Responsibilities are:
- Follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards.
- Find and correct safety and health hazards.
- Inform employees about chemical hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
- Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace fatality or when three or more workers are hospitalized (1-800-321-OSHA ).
- Provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
- Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Post OSHA citations, injury and illness summary data, and the OSHA “Job Safety and Health – It’s The Law” poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
- Not discriminate or retaliate against any worker for using their rights under the law.
Employees have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language workers can understand) about chemical and other hazards, methods to prevent harm, and OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Get copies of test results done to find and measure hazards in the workplace.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA rules. When requested, OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Use their rights under the law without retaliation or discrimination. If an employee is fired, demoted, transferred or discriminated against in any way for using their rights under the law, they can file a complaint with OSHA. This complaint must be filed within 30 days of the alleged discrimination.
What are the Top 10 Most Cited Standards?
- Fall Protection
- Hazard Communication
- Respiratory Protection
- Electrical, Wiring Methods
- Powered Industrial Trucks
- Lockout / Tagout
- Electrical, General Requirements
- Machine Guarding
Safety and Health Programs
U.S. companies need an enhanced focus on prevention to bring down the numbers of injuries and illnesses. There are the six core elements for successful Safety and Health Programs:
- Management leadership – Top Down
- Worker participation
- Hazard identification and assessment
- Hazard prevention and control
- Education and training
- Program evaluation and improvement
Be proactive now – establish a Culture of Safety. Do not wait until OSHA has been called due to an incident. Consultation is available through OSHA and companies such as Polytron.