what-is-osha-compliance-and-why-do-you-need-to-worry-about-it

What is OSHA compliance and why do you need to worry about it?

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Since virtually every employer in the US needs to be compliant with OSHA standards and regulations, most business owners are quite familiar with the phrase – OSHA Compliance, but what is OSHA compliance really?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a subdivision of the federal Department of Labor charged with the task of ensuring a safe workplace for employees at every organization. As new types of businesses emerge every year with new work-related challenges, OSHA consistently rises and expands its regulatory standards and policies to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

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OSHA Standards seriously recognizes workplace hazards and issues under the OSHA Act which must be followed regarding a particular enterprise. A complete listing of all federal OSHA standards can be viewed at the OSHA.gov website.  OSHA standards are part of the Code of Federal Regulations parts 26 and 29.  There is a standard for almost every type of industry and business activity.  In the case of industry or business where a particular rule is not covered by a specific standard, OSHA refers to the “General Duty Clause” a broad statement that guides employers to to establish and maintain a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.

In some instances, some states have applied for and received an exception from federal OSHA guidelines by creating their own OSHA approved state plans. State-run safety and health programs must be at least as effective (ALAE) as the federal OSHA program. Currently, 22 states or territories have OSHA-approved State Plans. California for example has one of the most stringent state-OSHA operations.  In some aspects, the Cal-OSHA rules and regulations far exceed those established by the federal government.

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Any business with one or more employees must comply with OSHA regulations for their own benefit. Over time OSHA rules have become more detailed and failure to comply has become subject to hefty penalties. You will be amazed to know that established businesses are often unaware of what OSHA standards apply to them. As a result, they not only endanger their employee health and safety but also put themselves at risk. 

For example, Topping the 2019 list was Fall Protection (OSHA Standards – Duty to have fall protection 29 CFR 1926.501 ) with total violations of 7,014. This rule sets the requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems. 

To assure compliance with OSHA standards, most businesses either need a safety manager on staff or access to compliance assistance through applications like Safety Assure.  Our Workplace safety compliance application assists our clients to comply with those standards which apply to their business as well as developing and implementing written policies and procedures for compliance.

There is hardly any business that is completely “regulation-free” from at least one OSHA standard.  Most businesses have to comply with several safety regulations to ensure a safe workplace. Successful OSHA compliance starts with the identification of which standards apply and then continues with developing and implementing policies, procedures, and training programs for employees.

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