If you got a letter from OSHA about
your accident rate, here's what to do
By Jim StanleyIf your company is one of the 15,000 businesses to
receive a letter from OSHA that your
accident and illness rates are considerably higher than the national average,
there are five things that you ought to do immediately.
President of FDRsafety and
former No. 2 official at OSHA
letter did not say this, the likelihood is high that your company will soon be
visited by an OSHA inspector, given the agency's announced emphasis on
enforcement. What OSHA director Dr. David Michaels did say was this: ""Employers
whose businesses have injury and illness rates this high need to take immediate
steps to protect their workers."
(If you are uncertain whether your company received
this letter, you can review the list.)
So here are five key things to do to improve the safety of
your workplace and to have the best result possible when OSHA does come
that all your documentation is accurate and your written health and safety
program is current. It should reflect all of OSHA's current requirements. Any
internal inspections it calls for should have taken place.
make sure your injuries and illnesses are accurately recorded and classified in
your OSHA log.
you have conducted all training required under your program and by federal
regulation. That could include everything from forklift training to
lockout-tagout to fall protection. If your program does not already call for
it, you should consider specialized training for supervisors.
where your accidents and illnesses are happening. Analyze work habits and
processes associated with the accidents and illnesses and then put permanent
corrective action into place.
The best way
to predict what an inspector will find is to conduct a mock inspection
yourself, or have a consultant do it for you. You should inspect your facility
just as OSHA would.
OSHA requirements and promote a safety culture. Part of this might include
safety motivational training, which gets employees to understand why they
should act safely. This is a highly effective supplement to skills training.
you should refer to the FDRsafety article on "How to be ready when an OSHA inspector comes calling". This article provides five key actions to prepare for the
actual inspection (different from the five tips above).
If you show
an effort to truly improve your workplace environment, OSHA will recognize your
efforts, and any fines you might receive could be lower than they otherwise
larger point is that you will create a safer workplace that is likely to
produce fewer accidents and illnesses for your employees. A safer workplace
makes for more productive employees because they are more likely to believe
their employer has their interests at heart.
a safer workplace reduces the risk to your company's reputation that occurs
when accidents are reported at your workplace.
If you have a question about the letter you received from OSHA, Jim Stanley will provide a limited free consultation to answer your questions. Contact him at (513) 317-5644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FDRsafety provides advice on safety program development and revision; OSHA compliance, including
If your compliance efforts are in order and you are still frustrated
with how to reduce injuries and illnesses, you might consider FDRsafety's unique training to motivate employees to act safely, which has been delivered to over
400,000 workers and managers.
FDRsafety for more information at 1.888.755.8010 or email@example.com.
as OSHA increases enforcement" - a webinar
President Jim Stanley on April 7 as he presents a webinar on how construction
businesses can remain competitive as OSHA steps up enforcement pressure.
A court ruling last year
said contractors can be held responsible for the safety actions of
subcontractors on their site, even if the contractors' own employees were not
involved. Jim, who has extensive experience in safety issues at construction
sites, will help contractors understand how they can meet the OSHA challenge
and still keep their businesses competitive.
Jim's program is
part of a package of webinars being put on by Occupational Health and Safety
magazine. Other topics include, "Inside OSHA Politics," "World's PPE Markets in
2010," and "Why On-Site Healthcare?"
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At the heart of FDRsafety is this simple idea: Extensive expertise and experience bring the best results.
FDRsafety is led by two nationally recognized, long-time leaders in safety: Fred Rine and Jim Stanley.
Each has decades of experience improving occupational safety and health performance at companies of all sizes, including complex multi-billion dollar, multinational organizations.
FDRsafety can meet your needs for a wide range of safety and health services, including training, OSHA compliance, safety staffing and expert witnesses.Contact us
to learn how we can help you reduce accidents, meet federal, state and local legal requirements, reduce costs, and most importantly, protect your greatest assets - your employees.