OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration, which is a US agency for the Department of Labor. OSHA’s priority is the safety of workers and health protection. OSHA was created and passed by Congress in 1970. Until 1970, there were no US laws protecting employee’s safety and health in the work force and this is why OSHA came to be. There are workers who do not qualify for protection by OSHA; public employees, mine workers, truck and transportation workers, atomic energy employees, immediate members of farming families who do not employ outside employees, and the self employed. Some employees are covered by other plans and federal agencies. OSHA’s mission is to provide job training programs that increase employees knowledge about safety and health in the work place, developing job safety and health standards by enforcing them through inspections and maintaining records system of keeping track of accidents and illnesses on the job. About 5500 people die each year from work related injuries. Over 4 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses are reported each year.
OSHA is important for US organizations and for their continuous compliance with the agency. How do organizations keep up with OSHA’s regulations? There are plenty of options available and some that may cost hundreds of dollars to the organizations and there are some that can be absolutely free. OSHA updater services will cost the organization money but are the better choice for staying on top of OSHA’s changes to their regulations. The free OSHA updaters will require using online resources. Tips for making sure an organization stays up to date following OSHA’s guidelines would be; make sure to hold regular safety meetings with an up to date safety log. This is brownie points as well in case of a visit from OSHA to the organization occur. Different occupations require different levels of safety training. Hazardous occupations require more in depth and frequent trainings. Not properly training employees to OSHA standards can cost an organization some hefty fines. OSHA and safety training classes are generally available at job search/training centers and community colleges and many companies now require their employees to take these classes if not provided directly on the job site during the initial hire in process.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Occupational Safety & Health, Introduction to OSHA, INSTRUCTOR GUIDE, April 2011 http://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/intro_osha/intro_to_osha_guide.html#topic_1
B&T Concrete, CONCRETE COATINGS, Blog, How to Stay Informed with OSHA Regulations, Blog by Teribery, M. http://btcoatingservices.com/how-to-stay-informed-with-osha-regulations/