By: Mark Slater on May 22nd, 2018
The Pitfalls of Ignoring OSHA
When it comes to safety in construction and manufacturing, there are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules that a company cannot ignore. You always want to make sure you remember to put your safety and the safety of your employees and visitors first above all else. For you and your co-workers to remain safe while on the job steps must be taken to minimize potential injuries. Some of the potential injuries in a construction or industrial setting include being electrocuted, falling, receiving a head injury, being burnt, having a limb amputated, or experiencing hearing loss caused by loud equipment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that there are over six million extraction and construction jobs here in the United States. They also show that 2016 was the worst year for injuries on the job that resulted in fatalities since 2008, with a total of 5,190 workers killed on the job. In the private industry, 991 of the 4,693 worker deaths were in construction. This shows us that even though our safety guidelines are increasing we still can’t get these fatality figures to reduce significantly.
There are many injuries and fatalities associated with construction even with all safety rules in place. Construction is second only to manufacturing when it comes to injuries that do not end up with a fatality.
Of course, everyone wants to safeguard the lives of their employees and co-workers. There are certain guidelines and safety laws in place because if we didn’t have those then the number of injuries and fatalities we see would be even worse. OSHA wants you and your employers to use common sense, and their guidelines work to ensure the safety of employees can become an even stronger priority.
Most Onsite Accidents Are Preventable
Have you ever heard about an accident at a construction site and heard that the reports say it was a preventable accident? When this happens, the company has to look into it and overhaul the safety process they had in place when the employee was injured. It can result in lawsuits and irreparable damage to reputation. To avoid this, you need to make sure you have a great strategy that puts a culture of safety into the work environment you provide for your employees.
Even though most safety programs focus on educating the employees and enforcing the rules that are laid out for them it has not been enough. You want to make sure you have a plan in place that will hold every person personally accountable for safety standards in the workplace.
Instead of just telling your employees what to do you need to make sure that your site supervisors and contractors are enforcing the rules and that you are holding them responsible for learning too. A common example is the wearing of hard hats – employees who do not wear their hard hat onsite at all times should be disciplined and their direct supervisors reprimanded if they were complicit in allowing this to happen.
OSHA has created mandates that need to be followed such as providing proper equipment, training everyone to use the equipment correctly, and planning well for safety - not just hoping for the best. These rules have been put in place by OSHA so that managers can also be held accountable if their workers were to be injured or killed.
Safety as a Culture
In the past decade, we have seen an improvement in safety because of technology and the idea of safety as a culture, not just a set of rules.
A company can go about trying to keep their employees safe in many ways. Many companies are now looking to safety software in efforts to improve the safety of their company. Software offers different data management and analytic features so that you can make better decisions as a company when it comes to safety. The software focused on OSHA compliance.
If your company decides to incorporate safety software into its business, you will see some of the following benefits:
- Managers can look at and monitor important safety indicators.
- Managers can tally safety data no matter where they are.
- Managers can track any incident such as injury, near miss, or vehicle incident.
- Managers can create and access simplified incident reporting.
- Managers can plan better for safety inspections, incidents, observations, and more.
- Job Safety Analysis reports become easier.
What is Your OSHA Safety Strategy?
Companies that foster a strong safety culture have been shown to offer a huge range of benefits compared to companies that do not have a solid safety management plan in place. Employers report better results, employees feel safer and better valued in the workplace, and customers view the company more positively.
Is the safety culture at your place of employment up to OSHA standards?
About the Author:
Mark Slater is a versatile writer with extensive experience creating interesting, engaging, and unique articles in the worker safety space.