OSHA and Your Company’s Emergency Action Plan

Author
Stephanie McCauley

Emergency Action Plan

OSHA and Your Company's Emergency Action Plan: What You Need to Know

All employees should feel safe in their workplace. While hazards are unavoidable in certain industries, it's an employer’s responsibility to ensure that accidents are kept to a minimum. Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined safety guidelines to ensure the safety of both employees and employers. These rules and regulations tackle almost every scenario — most of which require a well-drawn out emergency action plan.

Emergency action plans are required by OSHA and are critical in keeping your company’s employees and assets from harm during workplace emergencies. Read on to learn more about emergency action plans and how and why you can keep up with OSHA’s guideline updates.

The Importance of Updating Your Company’s Emergency Action Plans

To ensure occupational safety, OSHA regularly updates its occupational safety rules and regulations. As an employer, it's your responsibility to know and adhere to these updates. After all, your workers’ safety is always the top priority.

Save Time and Money with OSHA’s Yearly Updates 

Choosing not to follow OSHA’s guidelines can cost businesses more money than if they invest in adhering to them. Thankfully, there are professionals like Safety Services Company that are up to date with these rules and are willing to make the process easy and seamless for you.

In fact, in 2019, OSHA increased their monetary penalties. Serious violations can cost an operation a minimum of $13,260, and $132,598 for repeat offenses.

Aside from fines, an accident or fatality in the workplace is always a concern for any business. Following the rigorous guidelines set by OSHA greatly decreases the chances that an employee would get hurt while increasing your bottom line. Ensuring safety is well worth it.

Keep Your Most Valued Assets Safe

Truth be told, keeping seasoned employees is a smart business decision. Workers that have been with the company for several years know the ins and outs of work processes. They can be left to work unsupervised and their experience allows them to make necessary decisions without hesitation. These are traits that even the best new employee has yet to earn and possess.

Being up to date with safety guidelines ensures that you keep your company’s most valuable assets — your employees. Keeping them safe is not only in their best interest but your company’s as well.

Steps in Keeping Up to Date with OSHA’s Safety Standards

1. Assess Your Current Situation: Developing plans for improvement always starts with assessing your company’s current situation. You wouldn’t know what to change if you don’t have a clear picture of what is currently happening.

Start with your own facility. You can do it on your own or you can hire professionals to ensure that you don’t miss any safety concerns. Check the layout and take note of any changes that might make the workplace safer for your employees. Be sure to include an assessment of the tools and equipment your workers use in order to accomplish tasks.

It's also a important to observe your employees while they are at work. After your observation, talk to your workers and ask them how your operations can be improved. They are knee-deep in all the inner workings of your facility. There is a good chance that they have already noticed hazards that your ocular hasn’t.

2. Review OSHA’s Guidelines: OSHA updates its guidelines whenever they see fit. Most of the changes are enacted and are approved for implementation by the turn of the year.

Reviewing the rules and regulations before making changes is a smart way to make sure you don’t waste time or resources. Having a checklist makes it easier to enact these changes. For those who are new to the game, employing the help of professionals can also make the process of reviewing the guidelines easier. At the end of the day, even with workplace safety, you would like to work as smart as you work hard.

3. Organize Training: Allocating time for occupational safety training ensures that all employees are on the same page especially when it comes to something as important as emergency action plans. This means that in the event of an emergency everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. No resources go to waste.

Moreover, giving your employees time to learn the process they should adhere to emphasizes the importance of their safety. As an employer, providing training is an easy way to let your workers know that you care and you are willing to invest in their safety.

4. Consider a Professional: Especially for small operations, keeping up with all of OSHA’s guidelines can be overwhelming. A layperson simply would not know where to start.

With that said, seeking the help of professionals is always an option. Companies like Safety Services Company have years of experience in helping businesses adhere to occupational safety standards. They know the ins and outs of keeping employees safe in the workplace. Reaching out to Safety Services Company is a surefire way to make the process easy, seamless, and hassle-free.

Preparing Your Company’s Emergency Plans

Preparing your company’s emergency plan is important. Emergencies can come in different forms. It is always best to be prepared for most scenarios.

Developing an emergency plan for your business starts with defining what an emergency is. According to OSHA’s guidelines, an emergency is an unexpected situation that threatens not only the operation but also the health and safety of employees in the workplace. These emergencies can be natural or man-made. It can range anywhere from a simple electricity blackout that can hinder operations to serious exposure to contaminated and contagious waste.

At minimum, OSHA requires Emergency Action Plans include:

  • A method to report emergencies
  • Exit and evacuation routes and procedures
  • Headcount procedure following an evacuation
  • Contact information of individuals to be contacted for additional information regarding the emergency
  • Detailed guidelines for employees on how to perform an operational shutdown and how to utilize tools and equipment provided specifically for emergencies
  • List of rescue and medical duties assigned to each employee in the event of an emergency

OSHA has very rigorous guidelines on how to keep the workplace safe for all employees. As a business owner, you should view these rules and regulations as an opportunity to create a safer environment for your employees. It is your responsibility to keep them safe as it is theirs to keep your company afloat.

Thankfully, you don't have to navigate through all the rules and regulations by yourself. To learn how we can solve your company's OSHA safety training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one call can save lives and improve your company's ROI.

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