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Dec 10, 201307:30 AMOpen Mic

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How to get ahead of OSHA’s new proposed safety regulation

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If adopted, the proposed rule likely will not be implemented for a few years, so there is time to impact your OSHA records and leverage the public database results to your advantage. Here are some simple ways to improve your OSHA safety logs:

  • Foster a safety culture: The best way to reduce injuries is to prevent them altogether. Safety consciousness starts at the top of companies. Ensure that your management team preaches “safety first” versus the “production above all” mentality. Oftentimes, employees will forgo the safest option to save one or two seconds — what they fail to realize is that every second they save in the process is wasted the instant they get injured.
  • Ask for help: If you haven’t identified a hazard, you can’t eliminate or mitigate it — and it can be quite difficult to identify every potential hazard by yourself. Talk with your frontline staff, friendly competitors, key suppliers/vendors, and trusted advisors. Chances are they will point out items you hadn’t considered or share what they’ve seen at other similar businesses.
  • Understand recordable incidents: Despite getting your team to be more safety conscious and eliminating potential hazards, injuries are still going to happen. The good news is that not all workplace injuries and illnesses are required to be recorded and reported to OSHA. There are a number of rules and exceptions to consider when compiling your company’s records, and over-reporting can easily happen if you don’t know all the ins and outs.

Employee injuries can be just like high school: You know that you could have prevented an injury by doing a better job, but now rather than the teacher calling you out in front of the class, it’s the local media calling for an interview and publishing the story.

Steve Squires is the president of Hausmann-Johnson Insurance. He has spent a lifetime counseling businesses and individuals about minimizing risk and maximizing peace of mind.

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