Since being created by Congress in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been the federal government’s agency in charge of ensuring “safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
What does that mean for your shop?
Simply put, an employer’s job is to provide a safe workplace. OSHA provides a list of key employer responsibilities, including:
- Providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards.
- Ensuring employees have and use safe tools and equipment.
- Establishing or updating operating procedures and communicating them so employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Providing safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
- Keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
OSHA might be best known for enforcing the rules related to workplace safety, and that is an important part of the agency’s work, but that’s not all it does.
OSHA has an entire section of its website dedicated to services and resources for small businesses. Among these are a useful Q&A page and a detailed handbook designed to help small businesses follow applicable laws.
The agency’s website has many other helpful pages and sections, including:
- Help for Employers, with guidance about compliance and more, including more FAQs.
- A Worker Rights page that summarizes important information for workers.
- A section dedicated to preventing falls in the workplace.
- A section focused on avoiding heat-related illnesses in the workplace.
- A section providing detailed information related to personal protective equipment.
- A one-stop reference page for reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
- A page dedicated to safety in trenches and excavations.
- Pages that compile resources for key industries, including agriculture, construction, health care, maritime and oil and gas extraction.
OSHA has 10 regional offices around the nation as well as at least one office in each state. To find information about contacting the offices near you, check the OSHA Offices by State page. The agency also has an extensive list of frequently asked questions available.
Are you looking for help keeping your operation safe? Your Kimball Midwest sales representative can connect you with our array of safety products as well as our line of safety seminars.