Whether you currently own a business or are planning to buy or sell a business, doing your due diligence to ensure your safety program or the safety program of the business you're considering to purchase can save you from unexpected costs and liabilities.
A small business is required by OSHA to exercise due diligence when protecting employees from hazards in the workplace. Due diligence is defined as the measure of prudence, responsibility, and diligence that is expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances.
The following are the top 5 safety compliance issues that SafeLink Consulting has identified as red flags for business owners and for potential buyers or sellers of a business.
Lack of Knowledge
When a business receives a citation for failure to comply with OSHA regulations most of the time the business owner was not even aware of the requirements or the regulation itself. It is this lack of knowledge that is detrimental to a business and exposes a business to costly OSHA citations. There are many resources available to assist a business with regulatory safety compliance, such as, the OSHA website, SafeLink's online training course video library, and OSHA Outreach Trainers. Contact our OSHA compliance consultants immediately for assistance should you receive an OSHA inspection or notice.
Lack of Written Health and Safety Programs
When a business does not have a written Health and Safety program it is a major compliance issue. OSHA standards require that businesses have written programs for Hazard Communication, Lockout/Tagout, Personal Protective Equipment, and many more subjects. An effective occupational safety and health program will include the following four elements:
- Management commitment and employee involvement
- Worksite analysis and hazard identification
- Hazard prevention and control
- Employee safety training
Lack of Employee Training
OSHA’s standards require employers to train employees annually on the hazards that are present in their workplace and whenever a new hazard is introduced or when a change occurs in the facility. Employees must also receive training on personal protective equipment, specific machinery or equipment, their workplace’s emergency action plan, and much more.
Lack of Effort to Prevent Injury
Some business owners may be aware of safety issues in the workplace, but feel they don’t have the time or knowledge to correct those issues. It is only when an accident occurs that they realize how important safety is to their business. Whether buying or selling, a business owner must be able to demonstrate the time and effort put into their health and safety program. It is easy to purchase a generic safety program online, but if time and energy are not devoted to customizing, maintaining and enforcing that program, then it will not be effective at preventing injuries in the workplace.
Lack of Enforcement of Safety Rules
Workplace safety training is a great way to protect employees from injury. However, if the rules and policies of a health and safety program are not enforced, then the program will not effectively protect employees. The importance of consistent enforcement of safety rules and policies for everyone in the workplace cannot be overstated. Employees, management, and even business owners who actively work in their facility should all be held to the same safety standards.
Keeping up with the current federal and state safety regulations can be a daunting task for today’s business owner. Between attempting to run a profitable business, keeping clients and employees happy, and the many other day to day issues that may arise, workplace safety often becomes an afterthought. Safety should always be a priority in the workplace, but it is many times ignored until there is an employee injury or a letter comes in the mail preempting a visit from a regulatory agency such as OSHA.
The goal of SafeLink Consulting’s online training course, Top 5 Safety Compliance Issues All Businesses Should Know, is to inform business owners and potential business owners of the top 5 safety issues that most commonly arise in the workplace. Combining this information with SafeLink Consulting’s “Due Diligence Safety Checklist” will allow a business to be proactive and prepared in its approach to safety.
Course Description: Learn about the top 5 safety compliance issues that employers need to know regarding employee health and safety. Issues range from not knowing where to go to gather the information to not following through with an effective workplace safety training program once you gain the knowledge. As a part of this course, you’ll get a due diligence checklist that can help you evaluate your safety compliance program whether you currently own the business or you’re considering purchasing or opening a business. Be prepared to know what’s expected of you as an employer and don’t wait for OSHA to surprise you with their findings. Be proactive rather than reactive – let us help you learn how to develop your health and safety program.
How can employers be expected to know all the regulatory compliance training requirements that affect worker safety? Perhaps you are considering purchasing an existing business or starting up a new business. What do you need to know about compliance issues in order to know what you’re getting into if you’re purchasing an existing business or what you’ll need to address as a start-up business? Learn more in this webinar presented by Mary Bartlett and Chris Salmasi, Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers.
Learn more about what SafeLink Consulting can do to help your business with compliance services.