We all want our employees and customers to be safe when they enter any area of our business. To ensure that we provide a safe working environment for our team members, the Occupational Safety

and Health Administration (OSHA), has in place work safety procedures and regulations that all businesses are to follow. OSHA also enforces these regulations and can impose hefty fines and, in some cases, imprisonment, for violating safety standards. Most businesses want to comply with safety regulations and won’t intentionally violate any of the safety rules that are in place. But unfortunately, due to either ignorance of what is required or simply not having the time to ensure compliance, or both, some businesses are violating standard safety regulations on a regular basis.

 

Typical Violations

Safety programs in the workplace benefit workers and employers alike by reducing the number of injuries, enhancing productivity and performance, and even improving the quality of work. You want your workforce to stay safe because it’s the right thing to do, of course, but also because it is simply good for business. To make sure you’re complying with all safety requirements, keep safety in the forefront by creating and continually updating a safety manual. Pay close attention to these OSHA top four safety violations:

 

1. Falls

2. Struck by an object

4. Electrocutions

5. Caught-in/between

OSHA states that simply eliminating these “Fatal Four,” 591 lives could be saved in the US every year. In addition, included in OSHA’s top ten most frequent violations found in the workplace include:

 

 

  • No hazard communication standard in place
  • Following general requirements for scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection in place
  • The safe use of ladders
  • Machine use and guarding
  • Policies for powered industrial trucks
  • Eye and face protection policies adhered to

Take Action

The penalties imposed by OSHA vary from a minimum of $13,260 for minor violations up to $132,598 for each repeat violation, as outlined in a recent Society for Human Resources (SHRM) article. But these penalties come because our eyes are not always focused on safety issues. The reason most businesses violate safety regulations is because business leaders don’t make safety a priority. That’s somewhat understandable because we have so much on our plates on a daily basis that we are doing good to at least focus on generating profits and boosting the company’s bottom line.

To help you prepare your team for taking safety more seriously you should begin today with either a newly created safety manual or update your old one. Then, begin training your staff to keep an eye out for safety issues and to report any violations. To help make this happen, consider using an acronym like POLICE which stands for:

P-Plan for safety with your team members

O-Organize a safety plan, policy and team

L-Lead your team to better safety practices by working safely everyday

I-Inspect the workplace on a regular basis focusing on safety issues

C-Commend others who bring up safety violations or better ways to work safely

E-Evaluate how your safety plan and policies are working.

Use POLICE or come up with your own acronym that will help you, your team, and your business to be known as safety freaks. In other words, be extreme about keeping the workplace safe and you will never violate any OSHA safety regulations.

Of course, this is usually easier said than done. While focusing on the busy-ness of your business, it is easy to miss some important safety regulations. By outsourcing to a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) like Worksite PAY that can help you stay on top of safety and workers compensation compliance, you can remove the worry of safety violations.

Johnny Duncan is a business writer and consultant partnering with business leaders to provide workforce management solutions including leadership coaching, customer service training, people-to-job matches, and conflict resolution.  He can be reached at johnny@duncanconsult.com or by visiting HRVitamin.com.