No Job's Done Till The Paperwork's Complete
According to OSHA, it is extremely important to keep detailed records of policies, training sessions, meetings, and all information relayed to employees. Preserve records of accidents, injuries, illnesses, and damaged property for analysis. Keep a list of employees work habits and practices, what major equipment is used and where it is located, inspection schedules, and maintenance activities. For your convenience, OSHA provides checklists for processing, receiving, shipping, storage, building and ground conditions, housekeeping, electricity, lighting, heating, ventilation, machinery, personnel, hand and power tools, chemicals, fires, maintenance, protective equipment, transportation, first aid programs and supplies, and an evacuation plan. They will later help determine causes and aid in preventing recurrences.
Hang on to all these records and occasionally review them to identify patterns or repeat offenses. OSHA also requires records of exposure to toxic substances and hazardous material, physical examinations, and employment records. OSHA provides certain forms to be filled out regarding injuries and illnesses. The employer is required to report all fatalities and hospitalizations when three or more employees are involved within an eight-hour time frame. There is also an annual form which summarizes all of the above.
Providing proper waste containers, storing flammables properly, making sure exits are clear, marking aisles and passageways, and providing adequate lighting are just a few steps in the beginning phase of developing your safety action program. You can contact OSHA’s Office of Small Business Assistance for advice or further information. They even offer on-site consultation in evaluating safety, recognizing hazards, and aiding in developing strategies for preventing, controlling, or alleviating these dangers. The goal is to identify problems, develop actions to solve the problem areas, prioritize the problems, and decide on a projected completion date.
Protecting employees is in everyone’s best interest. Don’t wait until it is too late. Many small businesses employ family members and personal acquaintances, developing a closeness and true concern for one another which is one of the beauties of working for a small business. Make health and safety an every day practice so that it becomes second nature. It doesn’t cost a lot to provide a safe environment, only dedication and cooperation. Accidents result in loss of profit, sometimes the entire business, and most importantly, someone’s spouse, mother, father, sister or brother. Safe, happy employees are the key to your success!