When you think about workplace safety, you probably picture injuries and accidents, but in reality, safety means much more than that. The hardest aspect of having a safe workplace is thinking about the unexpected threats, the freak incidents as well as the hidden everyday dangers. Employers can be intimidated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) because a majority of it applies to very specific industries.
This list is meant to help the everyday office become a little bit safer. Take a minute to make sure you are doing all you can to keep your staff safe!
Is the required OSHA “Job Safety and Health Protection” poster displayed in a prominent location where all employees are likely to see it?
Have arrangements been made to retain records for the time period required for each specific type of record? (Some records must be maintained for at least 40 years.)
Are operating permits and records up-to-date for items such as elevators, air pressure tanks, liquefied petroleum gas tanks, etc.?
Do you have an active safety and health program in operation that includes general safety and health program elements as well as the management of hazards specific to your work-site?
Is one person clearly responsible for the safety and health program?
Do you have a safety committee or group made up of management and labor representatives that meets regularly and reports in writing on its activities?
Do you have a working procedure to handle in-house employee complaints regarding safety and health?
Have you considered incentives for employees or workgroups who excel in reducing workplace injury/illnesses?
Is there a hospital, clinic or infirmary for medical care near your workplace or is at least one employee on each shift currently qualified to render first aid?
Have all employees who are expected to respond to medical emergencies as part of their job responsibilities:
received first aid training?
had the hepatitis B vaccination made available to them?
had appropriate training on procedures to protect them from bloodborne pathogens, including universal precautions?
been trained how to use and have available appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against exposure to bloodborne diseases?
Are emergency phone numbers posted?
Are fully-supplied first aid kits easily accessible to each work area, periodically inspected and replenished as needed?
Is your local fire department familiar with your facility, its location, and specific hazards?
Are all fire doors and shutters in good operating condition?
Are all worksites clean, sanitary and orderly?
Are all work surfaces kept dry and appropriate means taken to assure the surfaces are slip-resistant?
Are all aisles and passageways kept clear and marked as appropriate?
Are all exits marked with an exit sign and illuminated by a reliable light source?
Are all the directions to exits, when not immediately apparent, marked with visible signs?
Are all exits kept free of obstructions?
Are there sufficient exits to permit prompt escape in case of emergency?
Are all ladders maintained in good condition, joints between steps and side rails tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached, and moveable parts operating freely without binding or undue play?
Are all tools and equipment (both company and employee-owned) used at the workplace in good condition?
Is there a training program to instruct employees on safe methods of machine operation?
Is there adequate supervision to ensure that employees are following safe machine operating procedures?
Is there a regular program of safety inspection of machinery and equipment?
Are all machinery and equipment kept clean and properly maintained?
Is sufficient clearance provided around and between machines to allow for safe operations, set up and servicing, material handling and waste removal?
Are “NO SMOKING” signs posted on liquefied petroleum gas tanks and in areas where flammable or combustible materials are used or stored?
Is there a current written exposure control plan for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials, where applicable?
Are there areas in the workplace where continuous noise levels exceed 85 decibels?
Do employees who operate vehicles on public thoroughfares have valid operator’s licenses?
This blog was written by Debra Friedman, contributor to our New York Human Resources Manual, at Cozen O'Connor, which also authors our Pennsylvania Human Resources Manual and Minnesota Human Resources Manual. You can find the original post and their HR Headaches blog (good stuff) on their website...
This blog was written by William S. Rutchow at Ogletree Deakins, author of our Model Policies and Forms for Tennessee Employers. Ogletree also authors our Massachusetts Human Resources Manual, Colorado Human Resources Manual, and Employee Benefits – An Employer's Guide. You can find the original ...