Start the New Year Right
It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set new goals for your company’s health and safety programs. Stay OSHA complaint and citation free with these 10 ways to improve EHS on your worksite in 2019.
Recent: 2018 OSHA Top 10 Violations List
1. Make Health and Safety Your Top Priority
It’s important to tell your workers that the main goal of your worksite is that they go home safe and healthy at the end of the day. Assure them that you will be proactive in finding and fixing hazards that could make them ill.
However, it’s not always easy to get your team on board with health & safety regulations. That’s why you should also encourage employee participation.
You can do this by using surveys and holding open office hours for workers who not only want to address any health & safety concerns, but may perhaps also want to provide ideas on how to fix them.
2. Lead by Example
Make health and safety part of the daily conversation with your workers. Also, ensure that you provide adequate information on workers’ rights.
Always emphasize the importance of following protocol and staying OSHA compliant.
3. Create a Reporting System
Your workplace should have a simple procedure where workers can report any injuries, illnesses, incidents, hazards, or concerns about safety and health. This could be an anonymous file or box so that workers do not have to fear retaliation.
4. Train Your Employees
As important as it is for your employers to know what they’re doing on the job, it is equally important for them to receive training on how to identify and control hazards.
After all, your workers are your eyes and ears all around your facility — and they can help you fix hazards before they become issues. OSHA’s Hazard Identification Training Tool is a great resource.
5. Conduct Your Own Inspections
Going through your workplace with the perspective of an inspector can help you identify issues you didn’t realize were there. Ask your workers to identify any activities, materials, or equipment that concern them.
6. Brainstorm on Hazard Controls
Again, your workers can be great resources in not only identifying hazards, but also coming up with ideas for health and safety improvements throughout the workplace. Host open forums to further encourage participation,
7. Implement Hazard Controls
Once you come up with ideas for hazard control, implement these new rules for a trial period and then evaluate the results. As with any testing period, you may find that there are better ways to improve upon your initial ideas.
8. Have an Emergency Plan
After inspecting your worksite thoroughly, identify any foreseeable emergency scenarios. No matter how unlikely it seems, it’s always important to have a plan just in case.
Meet with your workers to discuss these procedures, and clearly post these steps around the job site.
9. Make Improvements
Your health and safety plan always has room for improvement.
Did you know that OSHA provides free consultation programs? In 2017, alone, the On-Site Consultation Program made about 26,000 visits to small businesses, and helped to prevent approximately $1.3 billion in injuries & illnesses.
What’s more is that these consultations are completely confidential, and thus are not reported to OSHA inspectors. And, participating businesses can even receive a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
That said, it’s a great way to have experts come to your workplace to ensure that you’ve got the right EHS plan in place.
It’s also important to schedule regular meetings with your employees to discuss any health and safety issues. Keep everyone informed and involved to achieve the best results.
10. Implement Medical Screening & Medical Surveillance
Medical surveillance is an important piece of your health and safety program.
As per OSHA, Medical screening and medical surveillance are both fundamental strategies for employers to optimize employee health.
Medical screening is, in essence, only one component of a comprehensive medical surveillance program. The fundamental purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment of the individual and thus has a clinical focus.
The fundamental purpose of surveillance is to detect and eliminate the underlying causes such as hazards or exposures of any discovered trends and thus has a prevention focus. Both can contribute significantly to the success of worksite health and safety programs.
However OSHA “medical surveillance” requirements are generally clinically focused (e.g.,medical and work histories, physical assessment, biological testing) with information obtained from the clinical processes used in the monitoring and analysis elements of medical surveillance.
For resources that will help you with medical surveillance testing information, including specific hazards and surveillance guidelines, click HERE.
Go Mobile in 2019
Interested in mobile medical surveillance testing? At Worksite Medical, we offer services including silica physicals, respirator fit testing, audio exams and more. Our mobile medical units can bring all the resources of the lab directly to you.
Start out 2019 by achieving your company’s health and safety goals with one call. Contact us at 1-844-OCCUMED, or complete the form below for a free quote!