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Top 10 Employer Workplace Safety Responsibilities

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Are You Holding Up Your End of the Bargain?

While your employees are working hard to drive productivity and growth, are you doing what is expected of you as an employer to keep your workers safe on the job. It is always highlighted in great detail the responsibilities of workers within a facility in order to meet deadlines but far less often are the responsibilities of the employer outlined. Making your workers aware of their rights and what they should be expecting from their place of employment helps keep everyone accountable and helps to show your employees that you have an invested interest in their well-being and are working just as hard for them as they are for your company.

Under the OSH Act, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and to comply with standards, rules and regulations issued to keep workers safe.

Here is a list of 10 more Employer Responsibilities that all businesses should be keeping up to date with.

  • Make sure employees have, and use safe tools and equipment and properly maintain it.
  • Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
  •  Develop and implement a written hazard communication program and train employees on the hazards they are exposed to and proper precautions (and a copy of safety data sheets must be readily available). See the OSHA page on Hazard Communication.
  • Post, at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA poster (or the state-plan equivalent) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Report hospitalizations and fatalities promptly:
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    • Private Sector: to the local OSHA office (780-3178) within 8 hours of any accident that is fatal or that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees.
    • Maine Public Sector: to the Bureau of Labor Standards Workplace Safety and Health Division within 24 hours if an injured worker has an overnight hospital stay and within 8 hours in case of a death. Weekdays (except state holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. call 624-6400. At other times, fax to 624-6449 or call on pager 750-1852.
  • Keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. (Note: Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from this requirement.
  •  Provide employees, former employees and their representative’s access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
  • Do not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under the Act. See our “Whistleblower Protection” webpage.
  • Post OSHA citations at or near the work area involved. Each citation must remain posted until the violation has been corrected, or for three working days, whichever is longer. Post abatement verification documents or tags.
  •  Correct cited violations by the deadline set in the OSHA citation and submit required abatement verification documentation.

An Untapped Resource: Women in Manufacturing

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The talent challenges that U.S. manufacturers are facing are long from over and are projected to continue to worsen in upcoming years, Women may be that untapped resource employers are looking for to change course and move production forward in the right direction.

In some instances the pressure to fill vacant positions with a lack of qualified applicants leads to the hiring of ill-equipped workers, and potentially hazardous injuries or fatal accidents. While women make up half of the U.S. workforce, less than a quarter of manufacturing jobs are held by women, trying to attract qualified women into these open positions may go a long way in helping to fill them with knowledgeable workers.

One of the issues many manufacturers are having is actually attracting female applicants. The industry image is currently that of a male dominated environment. Recent survey data from the Manufacturing Institute reports that women in manufacturing are much less likely to recommend manufacturing careers to their children—particularly daughters. Through changing perceptions, breaking stereotypes and educating young workers about all of the opportunities in the manufacturing field what emerges may be a deeper more qualified applicant pool, and a better, safer working environment for everyone.

It’s a war for talent,” John Faraci, CEO of International Paper and advocate for hiring more women into manufacturing roles said in a recent interview. “If we can only compete for half the people that are on the planet, how are we going to get the best? You want to compete for everybody.”

If companies are looking to improve their workforce the answer may be right in front of their faces. Recruiting top candidates across the board is good for business, but only being able to reach half of the population puts the manufacturing industry at a great disadvantage. Bringing more visibility to the industry and the women achieving milestones and building successful careers like those honored at the recent STEP awards on March 26th is an example of a great way to start the conversation and inspire the next generation or even this generation of female leaders. The first step is being aware, what is the environment in your workplace like?


Countdown to Compliance: Test Your GHS Compliance Knowledge

What do you know about GHS Safety? Can you properly identify pictograms? Do you know what information should be on every GHS label, What about SDS Sheets. Click here and put your knowledge to the test!

GHS Quiz


Workplace Safety News Roundup

News

Manufacturers showing ‘good faith’ on GHS may avoid citations, OSHA says

Some manufacturers of chemical mixtures will not be cited for failing to immediately comply with new Safety Data Sheet and chemical labeling requirements if they exercise “good faith,” a Feb. 9 OSHA enforcement memorandum states. Manufacturers and importers face a June 1 deadline for using SDSs and labels that are compliant with OSHA’s updated Hazard Communication Standard. But because the classification of chemical mixtures depends on SDSs and labels from raw-material providers, some manufacturers or importers may not have the most up-to-date or accurate information.

To read more click here

2015 Green Cross for Safety® medal is being presented to CB&I.

The 2015 Green Cross for Safety® medal is being presented to CB&I. Since 2000, the National Safety Council has awarded the Green Cross for Safety® medal to an organization and its CEO that “have distinguished themselves through outstanding safety leadership and have showcased their commitment to safety by building successful partnerships to save lives and prevent injuries. Safety+Health recently sat down with CB&I President and CEO Philip Asherman for a Q&A on the importance of safety in his company.

To read more click here

OSHA Whistleblower Investigator Blows Whistle on Own Agency

The federal government established the Whistleblower Protection Program in the 1970s to shield employees from retaliation when they report wrongdoing or safety hazards in their industry. But insiders say the program is failing the very people it is supposed to protect, and jeopardizing public health and safety in the process.

To read more click here

 

OSHA Violations:

Company fined more than $272,000 for willfully ignoring safety hazards following worker death

A 58-year-old maintenance worker was killed after he was pinned between a motorized scrap metal table and a railing at the company’s Bridgeton, Mo., facility. An OSHA investigation found that the company failed to prevent the table from starting unintentionally.

For more information click here

OSHA cites kitchenware plant for hazards

After receiving complaints from plant employees, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration office in Syracuse visited the plant in September. The investigation found that employees faced dangers from fire, laceration, amputation, crushing, electric shock, falling and hearing loss because of absent or deficient safeguards.

For details click here

OSHA cites W.Va. company, proposes $109,450 fine

A Martinsburg contractor faces a $109,450 fine for alleged workplace violations at a Morgantown construction site. OSHA said it found three alleged willful violations and one serious violation. The willful violations involved safety precautions for workers exposed to falls of 25 feet or more. OSHA inspectors said workers also were using a pneumatic nail gun while not wearing eye protection.

For detail click here