In the working world, accidents can happen. It’s as Murphy’s Law states – if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. The workplace isn’t the only place that these dangers lay – anyone not proactive enough about their health and safety (or perhaps anyone just plumb unlucky) can suffer consequences. In a professional environment where employers can be held liable for accidents on the job, it’s crucial to have protective measures in place. OSHA lives to keep everyone safe – and it’s a lot bigger of a job then you might think.
What Exactly Does OSHA Do?
OSHA exists as a federal agency that protects the rights and safety of most private-sector employees/employers. Unless you work for state or local governments, are self-employed, or work on a family farm, your rights to safety are protected. Anyone working for or under a business held accountable to OSHA guidelines is guaranteed a number of rights. OSHA is responsible for setting health and safety standards across the board for a number of fields of business. From the mundane tasks of office work or clerk duties to the intensive labor of construction and the medical fields, OSHA has regulations put in place to protect your safety. Those safety guidelines go far beyond ensuring safe walkways and properly maintained equipment. OSHA also requires and provides training to make sure everyone is well educated on proper procedures.
OSHA can also step in to protect a worker if they feel like conditions are not being met. Employees reserve the right to report workplace injuries, lodge complaints against their place of work, and request safety data information pertinent to their work environment. If a workplace is found to be negligent, OSHA can write citations and (if the issue persists) administer fines to urge the employer to make changes.
What Are Some Examples of OSHA Guidelines?
Across all sectors of business, OSHA finds a number of citations that need to be addressed and publishes that list to alert employers about what they can and cannot do. Most frequently noted are fall protection and prevention. Fall hazards come in countless types, forms, and varieties. Accounting and preventing falls is a difficult endeavor if done right, but it’s worthwhile in the long run.
Also on the list is hazard communication – or making workers explicitly aware of various chemical hazards and how to best avoid or counter them. It’s not always as clear of a hazard as a steel drum of oil – hazards exist in everything from printer ink to exhaust fumes. Common cleaning chemicals are obviously not smart to drink or mix carelessly, but other interactions between cleaner and material should be noted if your job requires it.
One of the more immediately hazardous citations that are found exist with scaffolding and harnesses – meant to keep workers safe high above the ground. A fall from a height you find scaffolds and harnesses at can cause serious injury at the very least. Construction of the safety measures is regulated, regular use is regulated, and maintenance of all the moving parts is heavily scrutinized. Employers and employees alike have to do their part to make sure all measures taken are followed to the letter to avoid that deadly fall.
Training and Certification
OSHA is responsible for a large amount of the general education that workers and supervisors need to maintain a well-kept ship. Respectively, OSHA offers 10 and 30-hour general education courses to start, and then a number of supplementary courses to further education on specific levels. Courses are offered on many levels to ensure that nothing is glossed over and every important aspect of the job can be well communicated and educated upon. In cases where OSHA themselves do not offer the course you need, they will certify other companies or associations to provide training. Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging offers training specific to the use of wire rope in rigging for a number of industries. Construction, mining, utility, and entertainment all have their specific needs for rigging, and we can offer the knowledge you need to stay safe. Learn more about our OSHA certification rigging training, and about our expertise in the industry!