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What Is Workplace Safety and How Can Organizations Ensure It?

What Is Workplace Safety and How Can Organizations Ensure It?

Ensuring workplace safety is something that is crucial for any organization as well as for the employees. However, in the US, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates that organizations ensure a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. But what is workplace safety, exactly? Let’s explore why it’s so crucial, how OSHA is enforcing it, and how organizations can ensure it.

What is Workplace Safety?

Workplace safety, it’s quite self-explanatory from the phrase itself. It simply refers to providing employees with a safe and sound working environment. But why do small businesses need to ensure it?

Ensuring a safe workplace has multiple benefits:

  • It improves productivity
  • It instills confidence within the employees
  • It reduces significant costs
  • It ensures compliance with regulatory agencies such as OSHA
  • It reduces unwanted incidents
  • It adds to the company’s goodwill

Nowadays, workplace safety is more important than ever for any given organization. Ensuring it can protect your business in the long run, as the costs of not doing so are higher than ever – let’s see how.

Consequences of Not Ensuring Workplace Safety

Suppose a small business is not bothering to ensure workplace safety as mandated by OSHA. This will inevitably lead to an accident or injury one day, after which, OSHA will fine the organization heavily – up to $134,000! Not only will the organization incur heavy losses because of this, but the other workers will also lose confidence in the business’ ability to keep them safe while at work, causing them to switch to other jobs where workplace safety is maintained. Moreover, it will be all over the news, harming the business’ reputation – something which any organization doesn’t want. Unfortunately, many organizations still don’t understand the importance of workplace safety, and thus, fail to ensure compliance – facing the consequences in the process. To avoid that, the majority of the organizations have a workplace safety program in place in order to reduce incidents and to avoid the costs associated with not doing so.

Now that we have looked at what workplace safety is and the consequences of not ensuring it, let’s see what organizations need to do to ensure OSHA compliance.

OSHA and Its Requirements

OSHA has been around for decades in the US and it has been working hard to provide safe environments for employees. OSHA covers a lot of industries, almost all of them in fact – here’s the list:

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Maritime
  • Mining
  • Retail
  • Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

That being said, let’s take a look at the requirements that organizations need to comply with.

First and foremost, small businesses must provide the workforce with an environment that is free from serious hazards and complies with the rules and regulations as per the OSH Act. Workplace conditions must be scrutinized on a regular basis to ensure that they comply with OSHA’s set standards. It’s also crucial to provide the employees with tools that ensure safety (boots, protective clothing, and so on). Moreover, in order to highlight dangerous spots, brightly colored labels or posters must be used. Whenever there’s an update regarding workplace safety, it must be properly communicated to the employees and in due time. OSHA also requires employees to undergo medical examinations and training.

The above are just some of the many rules that all small businesses need to follow to ensure compliance and maintain workplace safety. It’s quite apparent that OSHA has quite a few requirements which can be quite difficult for organizations to achieve on their own. Moreover, regular inspections can also lead to non-compliance issues down the line if organizations aren’t on top of the situation at all times. That’s where Safety Assure can help them.

Safety Assure Improves Workplace Safety

Safety Assure by CloudApper is a robust and simple workplace safety and OSHA recordkeeping application that can streamline compliance and reduce the administrative burden for organizations. It can keep all OSHA related documentation at a centralized location. Safety Assure also helps with training management; it allows you to set a training session, assign trainer(s), select the trainees, and keep all the documentation regarding the training, making the process easier.

Safety Assure also helps reduce workplace injuries significantly. With its powerful incident reporting feature, employees can report incidents, accidents, and near misses right from their smartphones or tablets using the application, after which the management can inspect and resolve issues, enhancing efficiency and reducing response time significantly.

In addition to all of that, employees can share and view workplace safety practices, and management can add the latest OSHA updates and share them with the required personnel to keep them updated.

Conclusion

Since the application keeps information regarding incidents, management can also use its analytics to detect root or common causes for injuries (or near misses) and address them appropriately. Safety Assure also helps organizations conduct internal audits to detect gaps that might lead to injuries or incidents – improving workplace safety in the process. All of this can reduce administrative costs as well as help ensure compliance, improve operations, ensure workplace safety, and improve businesses’ bottom line.


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by Rayanne Morriss // Rayanne Morriss is currently working towards her BA from Oregon State University. She loves to write, read, travel, and paint. She enjoys finding new coffee shops with friends and expanding her cooking skills with her husband.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.