In the workplace, health and safety regulations are paramount to the well-being of the employees and the employer. Many hazards are present in today’s work environments, and it’s the employer’s job to keep their employees safe from these hazards. It’s a job that is so important that there are occupational safety standards and regulations set by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA ensures that all of their guidelines for health and safety or followed and anyone in violation can have their business shutdown. However, this is just one reason why workplace health and safety standards are important. Below are a few more that will show you just how important these standards are.
Prevent Illness and Injury
Health and safety procedures in the workplace reduce the employee illnesses and injuries greatly. These procedures can help you and your employees understand the potential hazards in your work environment. Training is important and effective, as it will educate your employees on proper workplace procedures, practices, and behavior to prevent possible injuries and illness or contamination from improper hygiene. Truthfully, paying for work-related injuries and illnesses can negatively affect your bottom line, which is a big reason why implementation of health and safety procedures is necessary.
Reduces Health and Safety Hazards
Potential hazards are rampant in almost every workplace environment. Equipment, chemicals, certain behaviors and activities, and even furniture can potentially cause injury or harm to you or your workers. Health hazards can range from contamination of food due to unsafe handling or preparation practices to an infectious disease outbreak caused by improper hygiene and personal care.
If you work with certain dangerous chemicals or gases, there’s always the risk of improper handling, maintenance, or storage, which could lead to dangerous exposure for you and your workers. In these cases, you must follow specific hazardous material handling guidelines set by OSHA, and you must have emergency and evacuation plans in place.
Avoid Serious Consequences
OSHA is in charge of enforcing health and safety laws, which means you must follow their guidelines when creating your health and safety procedures. If your work environment isn’t safe for your employees, then you may receive a fine or have your business temporarily or permanently shutdown, depending on the magnitude of your violation. This is something many businesses can’t afford. These standards can be enforced by any person representing OSHA many who will now be obtaining an occupational health and safety online degree. If you don’t meet health and safety standards, then your company will lose business, money, and customers.
Violating or not have safety and health procedures in place can have a tremendous impact on your business. You could lose money, workers, clients, productivity, vendors, respect, and potentially your entire business. Although, Workers’ Compensation Insurance covers workplace injuries and illnesses, there could be more costs to pay if you’re negligent. These costs include clean-up and repair, claims management, accident investigation, litigation, and the hiring and training of new employees. However, much of this can be avoided if you just realize the importance of having a health and safety program, and implementing it into your company’s infrastructure.
Written By: L. Weakley