OSHA Compliance Takes a Team
The responsibility and commitment of the management of OSHA compliance often weighs heavily on the shoulders of a facility’s OSHA Compliance Officer. It is important to remember that successful compliance is not the job of one individual. OSHA compliance is everyone’s job and comes with rewards and consequences that affect the entire team.
Teams are the cornerstone of management in many health care organizations. Whether large or small, by definition, teams consist of individuals working together toward a common goal. Team members feel accountable to one another and to the organization which in turn supports their full commitment. They are willing to compromise, cooperate and collaborate to create a world-class practice. Does this describe your facility’s OSHA compliance management style?
Culture for Safety
Safety and compliance must be part of the organizational culture and a priority for management. Create safety awareness through training, regulations and policies, and regular discussions on safe practices and actions. Open communication between the employer and team is essential.
Some examples of actions that employers can take to strengthen this partnership are:
Post the company’s safety and health policy where everyone can see it.
Involve employees in policymaking on safety and health issues.
Take an active part in safety activities.
Abide by all safety and health rules.
Reward good efforts.
Hold employees accountable for non-compliance
The Value of Safety Meetings
Safety meetings provide opportunities for teams to participate in the process for improving health and safety at work. Safety meetings support team mindset. They encourage safety awareness, promote employee involvement, motivate compliance, provide opportunities for identifying hazards and provide updates on new rules, safety information on equipment and preventive practices.
Federal OSHA does not require all employers to hold regular safety meetings; however, some state OSHA agencies have developed regulations that are more rigorous. Check your state plan regulations to be sure.
Implementing these recommended practices for your team can result in benefits for the entire organization:
Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
Improve compliance with laws and regulations.
Reduce costs with reduced workers’ compensation premiums
Engage workers and improve motivation.
Enhance their social responsibility goals.
OSHA compliance involves more than rules and regulations. It requires a culture that willingly embraces workplace safety through employee commitment, involvement and accountability.
It takes a team!
– By Karen Murphy, TMC Consultant