With Hazard Communication, Lockout Tagout & Emergency Action Planning
Consider, if you will, the cost of an injured worker to your bottom line. Consider further the impact an injured worker has on their family and fellow employess. Tragedies can occur at any time during the workday. Creating a safer workplace through training and employee awareness is one of the best ways for an employer to help control their Workers' Compensation costs and, more importantly, to demonstrate to their employees that they care about their health and safety in the workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires employers to provide periodic training on the topics of Hazard Communication, Lockout Tagout and Emergency Action Planning. In each instance, employees are made aware of the various standard requirements and what steps need to be implemented to control hazards which contribute to accidents in the workplace.
Hazard Communication involves making employees aware of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. A thorough examination of supplier provided Material Safety Data Sheets (MS/DS) and the associated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which may be required to be worn, should be reviewed. Additionally, first aid and emergency medical response should be reviewed as part of this training.
The Lockout / Tagout (LO/TO) Standard relates to proper ways to de-energize equipment before performing basic maintenance or setup on production machinery. Implementing proper care with regards to equipment and taking special note of the forms of energy which must be controlled, in order to conduct proper machine maintenance, are the basis of the Lockout Tagout standard.
Emergency Action Planning is a topic which is gaining widespread popularity in the business community. Customers and Suppliers are being asked to supply copies of their Emergency Action Plans, so awareness may be established in the event that a disaster disrupts production supply. Emergency Action Planning is the process all employees must follow, in the event of an emergency. Elements of this include: floor plans of exit paths, which must be posted throughout the work environment, "safe places", where all employees must meet and be accounted for by head counts, specific personnel with responsibilites to contact 911, the turning off of equipment, and the guiding of emergency personnel.
An employer can find OSHA training resources through their insurance providers. Ask your insurance broker if your insurance carrier will supply these services. There are also fee-based firms which will come in and supply this training to all employees. Trade organizations sometimes have such programs as well: as a former National Safety Council certified OSHA instructor, I used to provide this training to employers through a New York State training grant, orchestrated by a trade ogranization.
OSHA mandates that this training be conducted in the workplace; if they should stop by a place of business and safety training records cannot be supplied, a business can be subject to fines. Please be sure to visit the OSHA website (www.osha.gov) for more information on the training employers are required to provide to employees in the workplace.
Brown & Brown of NY