For some time now, Employers Resource Safety and Loss Control managers have been speaking to groups of business owners and managers about the increased compliance enforcement activity exhibited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We’ve been telling anyone who will listen about the 13% increase in the number of OSHA inspectors (130-160 NEW boots on the ground), the stepped up inspection program, and the issuance of citations for even the most minor of infractions.
Since the change in presidential administration occurred two years or so ago, the new Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis has been initiating sweeping changes in the way OSHA goes about its job. She was even quoted as saying,
“Let me be clear, the DOL is back in the enforcement business”.
One of the BEST ways to protect your business against the possibility of citations and fines is to perform an internal “Safety Audit” of your business. A safety audit is simply taking a serious look at your office, shop, vehicles, warehouse, and anywhere else that your employees might labor. The purpose is to identify hazards; unsafe conditions, procedures, equipment and the like. A safety audit should also ensure that you have on hand the written employee training programs that OSHA requires for your type of business as well as documentation that proves you have been conducting employee safety training on a regular basis.
Instead of a safety training topic for next week, why not use the attached Safety Audit form as an example and have your managers perform an audit of your operation? Once the audit is complete, gather the senior troops together and see where your program is succeeding, and where it needs to be improved.
Remember, with the increased activity of the compliance officers, it is not a matter of IF you will receive a visit from OSHA, but WHEN…
If you would like to learn more about safety audits at your workplace, please call the Employers Resource Safety and Loss Control Manager at 1 (888) 638-4353.