Tips For Improving Construction Workplace Safety And Avoiding OSHA Problems
With a current administration that is decidedly more aggressive about using penalties to enforce workplace safety standards, and is no shrinking violet about doling out larger penalties, employers shouldn't leave it to chance when it comes to OSHA enforcement of construction safety standards. After all, despite huge reductions of the industry's workforce, about two-thirds of citations continue to be against construction employers.
So what's an employer to do? Here are a few tried and true tips to help you maintain a safe and compliant working environment.
- Assess Vulnerability
- Review Your OSHA Recordkeeping
- Perform "Routine" Audits
- Review Proof of Correcting Past Violations
- Become Comfortable With Ergonomics Enforcement
- Focus on Training
- Turn Good Intentions into a Plan
- Benefit from Safety Efforts
- Develop Emergency Action Plans for the Inevitable
- Understand OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy
- Avoid OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP)
Despite taking all reasonable precautions, you may still face an OSHA citation somewhere down the road. Keeping proper documentation of all communication, training, violations and safety-related disciplinary action is key to protecting your company when facing an OSHA inspection. Remember, the ultimate goal of any safety program (and OSHA compliance), is that each employee returns home from work safely every night. If this becomes a reality, then it's a job well done for the agency and employers as well.
This article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Construction News.