Have you considered that employees who feel safe at work may be more likely to have increased productivity levels? Without spending time fearing for their safety, workers can experience the freedom to focus on their work without this distraction. To help keep employees safe on the job, let us discuss some ways to accomplish this important goal.
As an employer you have certain responsibilities in providing a safe workplace. This means you may be responsible for:
- Providing a workplace free from significant, known hazards
- Complying with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Inspecting workplace conditions to ensure they meet applicable Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA standards
- Ensuring your employees have and use safe tools and equipment
- Ensuring that all tools and equipment are properly maintained
- Creating and implementing a system to alert employees to potential hazards
- Creating or updating operating procedures and communicating them to ensure employees abide by safety and health requirements
- Providing safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand
- Providing medical examinations and training as set forth in OSHA standards
One way to keep your employees safe at work may be to implement a health and safety program. OSHA promotes the adoption of these programs by all U.S. employers. States also may require or encourage implementation of these programs. They generally include injury reduction strategies. When properly implemented, these strategies can dramatically lessen the number and extent of workplace injuries. This, in turn, can lessen resulting financial impacts on U.S. workplaces.
Effective safety and health programs often share common components. These may include: management leadership, worker participation, and an organized way of identifying and repairing hazards.
More recently, helping to make the workplace safe for employees may include measures to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, provides guidance for businesses that have remained open or are reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns. In general, the agency recommends that you implement and revise a COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plan that:
- Is unique to your workplace
- Pinpoints all areas and job tasks where employees may be exposed to COVID-19
- Includes procedures to eliminate or reduce any such exposures.
If you have questions about the legal aspects of employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, or at any other time, we are here to help. Simply call our law firm to schedule an appointment with our office at your earliest convenience.