As a business owner there are plenty of laws, rules and regulations to follow. It can be difficult to keep on top of everything while trying to run your business as well. However, not keeping on top of all those rules can get you into a lot of trouble. One of the most important is health and safety in the workplace. Keeping your staff safe should be your number one priority at all times. To help you keep within the laws, here’s what you should know about health and safety in the workplace.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
In the US, the OSHA is accountable for the health and safety regulations in the workplace. Using the OSH (occupational safety and health) act, they can prosecute your business if you’re found to be breaking any of the rules. Pretty much every single employee in the US comes under the jurisdiction of the OSHA. This means, that if anything were to happen to a staff member, they might be able to sue you and the business. As we mentioned before, health and safety is an important set of regulations to follow. The US Department of Labor has most of the information you could possibly need about the OSH Act. However, we’re going to look at some of the most imperative areas.
Training Your Employees
According to the OSH, some employees should be given the proper level of training and education in regards to health and safety. There should be enough staff members within your company, to carry out all of the required health and safety checks. Most companies will provide a basic level of H&S training for all their staff. This ensures that all team members understand the importance of the regulations. This will also keep your employees informed of any potential risks and dangers in the workplace. The State may also provide you with on-site consultation for you and your employees, should you need assistance. It may be worth talking to your local government and finding out what health and safety training schemes are available.
It is imperative that the equipment in your workplace is safe to use. At all times! As part of your duties as a safe workplace owner, you must ensure that any equipment used reduces the risk to your employees. As an example, using an explosion proof mixer if working with Ethanol or Solvents. A simple office building isn’t exempt from the same rules as a factory or warehouse may be. Make sure that any equipment used is tested and checked for any faults. Electrical equipment, even computers, could pose a health and safety risk. As well as your equipment, you’re also liable for anything that happens within your property.
You should encourage your employees to report all accidents in the workplace, no matter how small. This will give you information to work from, to better the health and safety in the business. If you find that there is one particular area that causes a lot of accidents, work out how you can improve it. The State are allowed to regularly check your business under the OSH Act. If they find that there are any dangers in the workplace, then they will be able to shut the place down. They can even prosecute you if they feel this is necessary. By keeping reports of all the accidents, you’ll be able to improve in any areas that could get you into trouble with the State.
These are some of the basics every business owner should know about health and safety in the workplace. It’s highly recommended that you read through the OSH Act in full, so you know your rights and responsibilities.