The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces regulations and standards to help business owners keep employees safe. To assist employers, OSHA maintains a set of voluntary training guidelines that can help you maintain a protected worksite and avoid violating OSHA standards. Please note: These voluntary guidelines are distinct and separate from the training requirements included in some OSHA standards; instead, OSHA’s voluntary guidelines are intended to promote a general environment of health and safety (as well as compliance).
At Hendershot Cowart P.C., our lawyers have more than three decades of experience helping business leaders keep their organizations safe by reviewing, designing, and implementing OSHA compliance programs that follow OSHA’s recommended training guidelines.
Understanding OSHA's Voluntary Training Program
Employers who have implemented safety and health programs that follow OSHA’s voluntary training model, including many who are in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) or the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for small and medium-sized businesses, enjoy a slew of benefits, including higher-quality product or services, and higher profits. OSHA also reports that the average number of workers’ compensation claims for businesses that utilize these training models decreases by 52%, and the cost per claim decreases by 80%.
OSHA recommends that business owners take the following steps toward a safer business place:
- Prioritize health and safety. Making worker safety the first item on your agenda, instead of an afterthought, can help reduce violations.
- Lead by example. OSHA recommends that leaders demonstrate a commitment to “safety first” in the workplace, adhering to proper safety protocols at all times.
- Create a reporting system. Making it easy for workers to report OSHA violations (including anonymous reports) helps you maintain a safe, equitable workplace for everyone.
- Offer OSHA training. Train workers to identify and control hazards.
- Regularly inspect your operations. Frequent inspections help you stay ahead of the curve and avoid claims.
- Workshop hazard control protocols. Collaborate with your workers to identify hazards and implement effective hazard control protocols customized for your workplace.
- Crowd-share hazard control. Once you identify effective hazard control measures, make workers responsible for integrating them into their everyday operations.
- React quickly to emergencies. Updating safety protocols after emergencies and having effective emergency protocols can help continuously make your workplace safer.
- Ask for input. Your employees are an invaluable source of advice for safety protocols.
- Commit to improvement. Setting aside time for regular reviews and updates for your safety protocols and training programs can help you keep your worksite safe at all times.
Build Your Safety Program Alongside Experienced Attorneys
Developing an OSHA-compliant training program takes a significant amount of time, effort, and resources – but you don't have to do it alone. At Hendershot Cowart P.C., our team can help you develop a comprehensive safety training program to keep your business safe and safeguard your livelihood against accidents and injuries, as well as avoid the cost and complexity of related citations and civil litigation.