The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is responsible for the development and enforcement of workplace safety standards. Enforcement consists of inspections conducted by OSHA compliance safety and health officers. Inspections are most commonly done at random based on industry hazard classification, as result of a safety complaint from an employee, a referral from another government agency, as a follow up to a previous inspection, after an employee fatality, or following a workplace accident that requires the hospitalization of three or more employees. During the inspection, the compliance officer will make note of any apparent safety violations, which will be followed by coordinating citations and penalties. To avoid violations, it’s essential to familiarize your business and your employees with proper safety procedures.
To assist with this process, our Orlando OSHA defense attorneys have outlined some of OSHA’s fundamental safety standards.
OSHA requires that employees receive general safety training related to the overall job site and facility hazards, emergency and evacuation procedures, and specific safety training related to individual employee duties. Training should follow OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines. If you’re unsure if your current standards comply with these guidelines, our OSHA defense lawyers in Orlando recommend consulting with an experienced, legal representative.
Personal Protective Equipment
Employers are required to provide and pay for personal protective equipment (PPE) for their employees to minimize exposure to workplace hazards such as falling objects, chemicals, noise, extreme temperatures, and other harmful conditions. Some examples of PPE are safety goggles, hearing protection, face protection, safety shoes, gloves, and respirators. Specific requirements for PPE vary between industries, but as a general guideline, any hazard that can not be eliminated or controlled will require PPE to protect employees from injury.
Identify Chemical Hazards
According to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, employees must be notified of chemicals that they are being exposed to in the workplace. Employers are also required to gather Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for hazardous chemicals and ensure proper labeling, as well as develop an employee training program related to these chemicals.
Report Workplace Injuries & Fatalities
Following a death of one or more employees or the hospitalization of three or more employees, employers are required to notify their OSHA area office within 8 hours. OSHA will conduct an investigation of the accident or fatality to determine if any standards were violated. It is highly recommended to seek out the consultation of your Orlando OSHA defense attorney immediately following an accident, so they can begin conducting their own internal investigation of the incident.
Injury and Illness Reporting
Employers with 10 or more employees are required to maintain OSHA’s injury and illness forms: OSHA Form 300, OSHA Form 300A, and OSHA Form 301. Work-related injuries, along with injury classification and severity, are logged in OSHA Form 300. OSHA Form 300A, which is required to be posted at the job site, is a summary of all annual injuries recorded in OSHA Form 300. Individual incident reports utilize OSHA Form 301 and include details of injuries, along with employee statements. Note that workers’ compensation forms can take the place of this document.
Trust the Orlando OSHA Defense Lawyers from Cotney Construction Law
At Cotney Construction Law, our lawyers are OSHA experts. We have represented contractors, subcontractors, engineers, manufacturers and more throughout the country when facing OSHA violations. We get to work immediately, and know the proper steps to take to successfully protect your business.
If you are in need of a professional construction law firm, please submit our contact request form for more information.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.