Invite OSHA to Support Your Success in Business and at Work
In 25+ years of HR experience working in manufacturing and distribution center environments, I’ve been lucky to work with leadership teams who proactively worked with federal and state partners from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe work conditions, which in turn absolutely ensures employee safety.
We participated in voluntary on-site worker safety consultation programs such as the joint programs offered by the NYS and Federal Departments of Labor in partnership with OSHA.
When OSHA inspectors made unannounced visits to inspect the premises, we welcomed them into our building, offered them coffee and walked with them as they inspected our work areas. On these walks, they gave us great advice on how to tweak / improve our safety practices even further.
On the rare exception occasions when OSHA inspectors found an issue in need of correction, we fixed the issue before they left the building. And the difficult incident where the employee of one of our vendors deliberately stuck their hand in some machinery hoping for a large monetary award: OSHA worked with us to get to the true facts leading up to the incident, and advised us to install protective barriers to ensure that it would not happen again, holding our organization appropriately and reasonably accountable.
Not working well with OSHA (e.g., not taking immediate corrective action requested by OSHA; being combative with OSHA inspectors; criticizing OSHA to media outlets despite the true facts, etc.), can produce some negative outcomes, including but not limited to:
- Being listed on their News Release Enforcement website;
- Owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties (which can effectively close most businesses);
- Undermining employee recruitment and retention efforts;
- And hurting your organization’s overall reputation.
How do you (or will you) invite OSHA to support your organization’s success in business and at work?
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