If you run a contracting business, you have the responsibility to provide a safe environment for your workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that you follow a list of regulations that aim to reduce worker injury and death. Since there is a high cost for failing to achieve OSHA compliance, every contractor needs to know the basics of current Federal regulations.
Learn the Federal Requirements for OSHA Compliance
1) Emergency Action Plan Standard
In order to be OSHA compliant, contractors with 10 or more employees must have a written emergency action plan. Smaller companies have the option of communicating their plans orally.
You can learn more by reading OSHA’s official guide on how to plan for workplace emergencies and evaluations.
2) Fire Safety
Employer must train workers about workplace fire hazards, including what to do in the event of an emergency. Contractors also need to be informed about recommended evacuation procedures. If applicable, employers may be required to train employees about how to operate firefighting equipment.
3) Exit Routes
Workplaces are generally required to have at least two exit routes in order to permit prompt evacuation during an emergency. OSHA may require more than two exits if the number of employees, the size of the building or the arrangement of the workplace would not allow for safe evacuation otherwise.
4) Walking/Working Surfaces
Since falls are one of the leading causes of work-related injury and death, OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems rule protects workers through the addition of training and inspection requirements for contractors. The regulation, which protects everyone from painters to warehouse workers, addresses fall protection systems as well as slip, trip and fall hazards.
5) Medical and First Aid
In order to achieve OSHA compliance, you must provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies that correspond to the hazards of your workplace.
If you would like to know more about workplace first aid, read this best practices guide.
What you can do to Maintain Compliance
If you are the owner of a contracting company, maintaining OSHA compliance is the best thing you can do for yourself and your workforce.
Once you are familiar with government regulations, these four steps will help you improve workplace safety:
- Survey your Workplace for Hazards
- Develop a Jobsite Safety and Health Program
- Train your Employees
- Hold Regular Safety Meetings
Contact OSHA’s free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine if you have potential workplace hazards. If issues are identified, OSHA will work with you to correct them. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. For assistance, you can visit OSHA’s On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.