The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established under the OSHA Act of 1970 to ensure the safe and healthful working conditions of workers across the United States. The agency accomplishes just that through its many standards under the Department of Labor’s Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
OSHA has published a compendium of resources on its website to assist employers and employees on how they could work hand-in-hand in maintaining OSHA compliance. The resources are available to 7 million workplaces in the country. What’s interesting, however, is that while this is the case, many employers still receive OSHA citations from compromising their workers’ safety. And often times, these businesses argue that they were not aware or were having difficulty understanding OSHA‘s rules. Unfortunately, their “ignorance of the law” excuse won’t save them from the consequences of their violations.
States operating their own state workplace safety and health programs under plans approved by the U.S. Department of Labor cover most private sector workers and are also required to extend their coverage to public sector (state and local government) workers in the state. However, employers have the option to impose stricter, job-specific rules on their employer. It shouldn’t the other way around—employers’ workplace rules shouldn’t be more lax than OSHA’s. Presently, there are 23 states that had implemented their own regulations and standards over government and corporate work sites.
Training employees is the best way on how any company—big or small—can prevent OSHA violations. By training employees on how to keep themselves safe on the job, you can steer clear of civil penalties, not to mention possible jail time. It’s very basic—all you need to do is make sure employees get OSHA training, depending on their job positions, prior to them entering the worksite. Also, provide OSHA training whenever some changes in work processes are implemented.
OSHA enforces a national emphasis program and severe violators program that focus on conducting inspections regularly to stop employers who were vehemently compromising the safety and lives of their workers. In recent years, OSHA has conducted over 37,000 workplace inspections.
OSHAcampus.com is a premier provider of OSHA 10 and 30 training for the Construction and General Industries. Check out our dedicated pages about our training programs as well as our blog section for worker safety resources.