OSHA compliance for HR managers is critical because a company that is not OSHA compliant can be fined or sued in court. Fortunately, it is not difficult to teach HR managers how to be and stay compliant. What are some of the steps that can be taken to make sure that HR managers are always playing within the rules?
Attend Training Courses Regularly
It will be difficult to stay in compliance if you don’t know what the rules are. Therefore, you (or whoever is in charge of OSHA compliance for your company) need to attend training courses on a regular basis. If there are no national or regional conferences to attend, your company should start one of its own. As rules change and points of emphasis continually evolve, having a refresher course at least once a year keeps everyone in the loop.
Have Reference Materials Available
Reference materials are readily available from OSHA by request. It may also be able to get reference materials online that you can print out and post around the office. Employees should be given a copy of all relevant materials when they start work and whenever the rules are updated. Supplying employees with the information that they need to stay safe can keep them from getting hurt while reducing the liability that your HR department could face if anyone got hurt.
Have Employees Report Violations
It is always a good idea to allow employees to report violations in an anonymous manner. This ensures that employees are encouraged to keep the HR department in the loop as to what floor managers or other managers are doing while working. If employees report any unsafe working conditions, those conditions can be investigated as soon as possible. Once an investigation is done, changes can be made before the government gets involved.
Have the HR Manager Conduct Random Inspections
The HR manager should do random checks of any area where employees do their work. This means that any employee who uses a knife, works with perishable food or works with heavy equipment should be evaluated to ensure that they are meeting OSHA guidelines.
Workers who work in hot or slippery conditions should be wearing fire resistant clothing or slip resistant shoes. If they are not, they should be written up and asked to comply with the rules. Additional violations could result in the employee or employees being sent home from work or suspended for a week.
Termination should not be ruled out for those who continually break the rules. While this may seem harsh, it is important that employees get the message. If OSHA rules are broken, the company could be forced to shut its doors. At best, its reputation is going to be ruined in the short-term.
OSHA rules should be followed to the letter at all times. They are in place to ensure that workers are kept safe whenever they are at work. OSHA compliance for HR managers should be made a top priority for any company, whether it is a small business or a company that employees hundreds of people.
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