The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been established as a governing body that oversees the safety of workers in all types of employment environments. Every company is required to have OSHA training for their industry for all employees. Compliance with the training involves OSHA-approved classes that cover a variety of topics including but not limited to danger awareness, safety procedures and actions to take for emergency conditions. Companies typically have departments such as human resources that oversee all OSHA compliance training.
The jurisdiction of OSHA includes most workers and private sector companies in all fifty states and territories in the U.S. There are some exceptions such as local and state government employees that are not covered unless there are OSHA-Approved State Programs for their states. Additionally, employees of industries that are included in other federal oversight programs are not protected, as well as those that are self-employed, or are farm employer family members.
OSHA Compliance Areas
Any business that has potential hazards for workers as part of the daily functions are required to supply OSHA training. To accommodate the needs, OSHA has created checklists, instruction booklets, fact sheets, that can be downloaded for use as well as OSHA-approved online training classes that are offered by organizations in similar lines of business. The short checklist includes:
Machine Guarding: Employers must offer protection for workers that use machinery that may cause worker injuries. Accident prevention can include the addition of guards for workers that come into physical contact with machine devices and parts that will automatically turn off if/when a worker has a pinch point.
Lockout/Tagout: Also called “LOTO,” this is a program that makes sure that employees will turn off the power in the case of a malfunction in the machinery to reduce the chance of energy exposure to those repairing a system.
Electricity: Equipment requirements established by OSHA include equipment construction that reduces the chance for employees to encounter live wires that can cause electrocution, face burns, or worse.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): OSHA places PPE as a last resort for the protection of employees to avoid injuries. Employers are required to have employees trained on all protective gear and the importance of wearing the gear.
Respiratory Protection: Employers are required to supply properly sized respirators and proper training for use to employees when staff perform duties that expose them to noxious sprays, smoke, dust, or inadequate ventilation/oxygen.
Noise: Any work that is done in an environment that involves more than 85 decibels is a danger to employees for hearing loss. Employers are required to supply sound-dampening earmuffs or earplugs and proper training along with regular hear testing for employees involved in high noise locations.
Confined Spaces: Certain job functions that must be accomplished in smaller spaces have higher risk for asphyxiation or injuries. The spaces require workers to perform required tasks such as repairs. OSHA offers online flowcharts and tools to assist a company to create a permit-required confined spaces program.
Bloodborne Pathogens: Employees that may be exposed to blood or body fluids that carry the risk of potential transmission of diseases are required to have the OSHA compliant training program such as those offered by Healthcare Waste Management.
Powered Industrial Trucks: These are industrial vehicles such as lift trucks or forklifts and since they are one of the most common sources for hazards and load injuries that fall, employers are required to have drivers trained in safe operations and procedures.
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