As a contractor, you’re all too familiar with the additional stress imposed on you and your workforce by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Eventually, the looming presence of OSHA becomes a regular part of your life in the construction industry, but that doesn’t mean maintaining compliance ever gets any easier. That’s why our OSHA defense attorneys fight for the industry to prevent costly OSHA citations and encourage contractors to keep growing their businesses without fear.
In part one of this two-part series covering employer responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, we discussed the basic responsibilities of every employer who wants to maintain OSHA compliance. We also detailed how some of these responsibilities are designed to improve communication in a variety of ways. Now, we will continue to delve further into this important topic. Remember, for all of your OSHA-related legal needs, consult the OSHA defense attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.
Records and Recordkeeping
Employers are also responsible for keeping comprehensive records of any and all work-related injuries and illnesses. For example, employers are required by law to provide access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300) as well as the summary of this log (OSHA Form 300A).
The benefits of solid recordkeeping are twofold. First, it helps you maintain compliance. Second, it ensures that you keep the facts straight when a dispute arises and have clearly documented evidence to back up your side of the story. In fact, employers are required to provide access to employee medical records upon request by employees or their representatives. Additionally, you must provide a representative’s information at the request of an OSHA official so they can accompany them during an inspection if needed. Remember, the ten or fewer rule, which exempts employers in low-hazard industries from this rule, does not apply to the construction industry.
Adopt a Safety and Health Program
One of the best ways to reduce the number of workplace injuries taking place on your project sites is to institute a safety and health program. Contractors who invest in such a program benefit from healthier workers, reduced costs, and a decreased chance of being issued an OSHA citation. Many states have already established guidelines for keeping workers safe, but it’s ultimately up to you to develop and institute a safety and health program that is effective. Typically, the pillars of a successful safety and health program are management leadership, employee involvement, and a systematic approach manner for the identification and elimination of hazards in the workplace.
When it comes to the safety of your workers, you have to be certain that you are taking every action necessary to eliminate workplace hazards. That means consulting an OSHA defense lawyer who can not only provide you with defense against an OSHA citation, but also representation when an OSHA official visits your project site.
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.