Employers are required to provide their employees with a safe workplace. Creating a safe workplace can be made easier, by breaking the process into manageable chunks.
Make Sure You Meet OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets and enforces standards for workplace safety in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established the current legal standards for workplace safety. A good place to begin with your safety plan is to make sure your workplace follows the standards established by this act. The Department of Labor offers a QuickStart guide that can help you get started. You may also want to consult with an attorney.
Train Your Employees
A plan is important, but for the plan to work, your employees will need to be able to execute it. Your employees will likely need to know how to respond to both everyday safety concerns and “worst-case scenarios.” OSHA offers a variety of educational and training programs. You may also wish to consider employing the services of experts. Industry-specific training is available on topics such as confined space rescue training. Other key areas to consider are the proper use of safety equipment, safe lifting techniques, ergonomic office spaces and disaster preparedness.
Finally, once you have your plan in place and your employees are prepared to execute it, you may want to get some assurance that your plan meets all the requirements by having an on-site consultation. The Department of Labor offers free on-site consultations for small businesses. There are also firms that specialize in workplace safety that offer consultation services. Your attorney and your insurance professional can also be good resources.
A safe workspace is a productive workspace. A good plan, proper training and a final consultation will help you on your way to establishing a safe workspace.