The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an entity that many employers would prefer to forget, but it is a governmental entity that is aimed at improving the health and safety conditions of working people.
During the Nonprofit Risk Management Center 2016 Risk Summit, risk consultant Arthur F. Blinci shared thoughts about OSHA and items that should be in the awareness of managers.
- Jurisdiction. OSHA is a federal entity covering most private sector workers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but OSHA-approved state programs can have more restrictive requirements or additional standards.
- Records. Many low-hazard organizations are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, maintain OSHA logs or post the mandatory job site notification each year.
- Reporting requirements. There were new ones as of Jan. 1, 2015. Employers must report the following work-related incidents: Fatalities; Inpatient hospitalizations; Amputations; Losses of an eye; and, Filing a workers compensation claim does not meet the OSHA notification requirements.
- Unsafe conditions. Anyone can file a notice to OSHA of an unsafe workplace hazard. Employers cannot discriminate or retaliate.
- Injury and illness prevention. This is recommended by OSHA but not mandatory in all jurisdictions.
- Safety training. OSHA requires all employers to provide safety training on both general and job-specific safety and health practices.
- Volunteers. Most OSHA regulations apply only to employees and not volunteers, but standards for specific high-risk exposures might apply to employees and volunteers.