3 Steps to Improve Health and Safety Compliance in Your Workplace
1. Understand the Basics
Mastering workplace health and safety standards starts with a teamwide understanding of protocol. There are many ways to learn, from guided video courses to hands-on team exercises, so developing a training method that works for your team is crucial.
OSHA and Other Regulatory Training Courses
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) serves as a guide for the operation of every business. With the numerous rules and regulations OSHA sets forth, it would be nearly impossible to comprehend and adhere to expectations without formal training as a team.
OSHA provides plenty of resources on its website for education purposes. These tools are great for learning safety regulations specific to your industry, but it may be confusing for employees to know which modules to view without a specific curriculum — this is where it’s useful to have a trusted partner like Spirit HR to guide you through any confusing jargon or industry-specific regulations.
Develop and Discuss Emergency Plans as a Team
Do your employees know what to do in an emergency? Natural disasters and inclement weather aren’t the only dangers for business owners to consider — anything that could threaten workers or disrupt business can be classified as an emergency. It’s vital to acknowledge which hazards are most likely to endanger your team and develop a plan to handle those situations if and when they arise.
2. Implement Your Plan
After developing a strategy to stay OSHA compliant and respond to emergencies, your business is ready to enact that plan in daily work. Implementation of these standards increases employee safety awareness and decreases the risk of incidents that can result from failure to comply.
Audit Your Team for Preparedness and Understanding
OSHA may audit a company for compliance if they believe there’s an issue that violates their standards. It’s best to ensure that your team is at a high level of compliance to avoid OSHA audits.
Periodic internal audits are the best way to ensure adherence to regulations. Consider developing your own auditing method using tools provided on the OSHA website in addition to seeking unbiased feedback from a trusted third party like Spirit HR.
Update Your Plan as Regulations Change
Naturally, safety regulations evolve over time, so it’s necessary to refresh your knowledge periodically and adjust your health and safety plan to comply with any changes.
Aside from federal regulations, you may need to adjust your team’s safety plan based on changes within your workplace. For example, changes in a building’s layout, such as new construction or remodeling, might necessitate rethinking emergency exits.
3. Prepare an Injury Protocol
Even with a rock-solid health and safety strategy, you can’t prevent everything. Injuries can still occur even if every team member is operating at maximum awareness. Part of developing a preventative safety plan is knowing what to do when an injury occurs, no matter how severe.
An inevitable part of dealing with employee on the job injury or illness is the compensation process that follows. Between all the paperwork and legal specifics, workers’ compensation can feel intimidating and confusing for many business owners. In reality, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Remember that every operating business is required to compensate for injuries or illnesses sustained while working, so resources on the subject are abundant — we even have a guide for understanding common jargon on the Spirit HR blog.
Refine Your Process to Prevent Future Injuries
After a workplace injury, a business should immediately review any safety plans to identify potential opportunities for improvement and clarification. For example, a burn sustained from a coffee spill might warrant a new kettle or the addition of easily accessible burn gel in the break room. Small changes like this could prevent future injuries and decrease the need for further compensation claims.
Let Us Help!
Need assistance with developing your health and safety strategy? Spirit HR has you covered. We provide custom resources — including safety analysis and internal safety materials — as well as full-scope workers’ compensation insurance.
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