Whether you employ one person or 1,000, keeping your employees safe and healthy benefits your entire business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has a vested interest in keeping people safe. OSHA puts employee safety first, with a set of regulations every business must follow. Additionally, they provide support in the form of training sessions and other forms of guidance to help companies develop and enforce workplace safety practices. But in addition to avoiding tens of thousands of dollars in penalties, businesses can benefit in many other ways by following the regulations as outlined by the agency.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
OSHA helps businesses create workplace safety programs that prevent injury or death, reducing lawsuit risk and helping recruit and retain better employees.
What Are the Benefits of OSHA?
In 2016, 5,190 workers were killed on the job, according to OSHA. It’s perhaps notable that one in five of those deaths were in construction work, which emphasizes the importance of safety within that industry. However, no matter what type of business you run, safety is an issue. Employees can develop carpal tunnel syndrome or back issues from the work they do. A worker in any type of environment can trip over a misplaced object or have something on a high shelf fall on them. If such an injury occurs, you’ll deal with an employee being out of work for a period of time, and during that period you may have to hire someone else to fill in. The drop in productivity during the transition can cost serious money. You may also deal with a lawsuit or insurance payout related to the injury. Lastly, businesses with workplace safety programs report that it gives them an edge in recruiting top talent.
To start a workplace safety program, OSHA recommends outlining your goals. Invest in training to make sure each employee knows what to do to keep the environment safe. OSHA also advises businesses to ask employees to come up with suggestions and help implement the safety program. Lastly, consider every possible situation that could jeopardize worker safety and work to come up with solutions to eliminate them. OSHA offers free on-site consulting to help businesses improve their workspaces.
Risks Without OSHA
Businesses that don’t take OSHA safety guidelines seriously may face serious repercussions. OSHA is very open with employees about how to file complaints if they feel their workplace isn’t safe. If such a complaint is filed, OSHA will perform either an off-site investigation or an on-site inspection to look for violations. One safety violation comes with a $12,934 fine, but willful or repeated violations are fined $129,336 per violation. States that have their own OSHA programs are required to impose fines that are at least as strict as those at the federal level.