Every year thousands of workers suffer from job related injuries, which in some cases have been fatal. The office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued some new updates regarding safety equipment for on-site employees. These updates include protective equipment, equipment labeling, personally owned equipment, hazard assessment and design, and training. Job safety and a healthy work environment provide value, increased productivity and cost savings. Here’s what you should be mindful of.
The eyes have it.
If an employee has an injury on-site, the first step is to conduct a job safety analysis and report the findings. OSHA has recently added updates on various hazard safety assessments that can be utilized before resorting to PPE. They have also added a list of recommended eyewear that should be part of day to day operations based on occupation. Make sure to closely look at what each department has available to its employees for protective wear. If you have welder’s on-site, then your hazard assessment should note specific eyewear for these individuals. If you have an A & T department with mechanics and engineers working closely on parts and machinery, then you must identify this in your assessment and proper protocol of eye and face protection for them. Also make sure to identify if you have individuals that wear prescription glasses. These workers will needs goggles that will fit over their existing glasses. For workers that need to work outdoors, tinted or shaded goggles, glasses, and shields should be considered and are outlined in new updates provided by OSHA.
How much training do you provide and to whom?
Not only should your general management and upper level C executives have training on all OSHA mandates and safety protocols, but your employees should as well. Identify employees that may have regular access to hazardous material and equipment in your company or any incoming employees that will be working in these designated areas. The training should cover: present hazards and exposure, when safety equipment should be worn, how to wear and adjust safety equipment properly, how to read safety labeling and make sure it meets OSHA standards, how to care for safety equipment, why PPE is necessary, its limitations, and when it should be utilized (this is a recent OSHA update), and when to dispose of safety equipment and gear. OSHA provides resources and external help for employers who would like assistance with onsite training. The good news is, once you’ve had this training you do not need to go through it again. OSHA recommends training only once per company. This, however, does not mean that if an employee moves to a new company they are all set. They will need the training again.
Make sure all bodily safety is accounted for.
When assessing your work environment, every aspect of equipment, surface area and type of job needs to be examined. From face shields and respiratory devices to barriers and steel toed boats, all measure of safety protocols need to be outlined and provided to on-site employees. Make sure lab jackets, footwear, helmets, glasses, reflective clothing, barriers, shields and eye equipment meet OSHA safety standards. If employees will need to buy some of these items, make sure you outline how or if they will be reimbursed through the company and how these items should be cared for if taken home.
OSHA provides numerous publications, technical assistance, and compliance tools to help you; offering assistance through workplace consultations, voluntary protection programs, grants, training, education and more. OSHA also provides a Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines form (Federal Register 54:3904-3916) that can help you implement the appropriate health and safety program into your workplace.
Do your employees have the proper hazard and safety protection?
Are you providing the right training?
WorkSource is a better way to find a job. Our trained recruiters make sure they are up to date on all necessary work protocols and standards to help both candidates and clients. Contact our team at WorkSource today to find out how we can help you.