OSHA compliance is a must in the American workplace, but what exactly is it, and how can reporting software help ease the burden, especially in healthcare? We’re exploring these and other important questions below, including the critical role of OSHA-supporting software in making compliance happen.
What is OSHA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1971 as an agency in the United States Department of Labor following the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) of 1970. OSHA sets specific rules and regulations that serve as a baseline for employee safety and health, with particular compliance requirements unique to each type of industry.
What Does It Mean to Be OSHA Compliant?
Compliance means that your business is aligned with the regulations and standards set out by OSHA for your industry. Further, it means that every employee and worker is equipped with necessary hazard information before entering a dangerous area and that your organization operates under safe working conditions per tested practice methods.
Nearly all private-sector employers and employees in all 50 states are covered under OSHA, and compliance is mandatory. OSHA regulations and standards act as guidelines that employers follow to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace and are protected under six broad categories:
- General Industry
When an organization is OSHA compliant, it shows employers care and value their employees and wish to ensure their safety and wellness daily. This supports not just federal requirements but productivity, employee retention, and overall employee satisfaction, all of which are essential to business operations.
What Are OSHA Requirements in Healthcare?
All healthcare employees, including providers and general staff, must be trained and act by OSHA regulations.
In healthcare settings, OSHA compliance regulations, or standards, cover two key areas: PPE and toxic and hazardous substances. Workers must follow specific guidelines, which dictate how to use, maintain, and dispose of PPE and manage and dispose of harmful or dangerous substances like bloodborne pathogens, formaldehyde, and others. If applicable, facilities must also comply with occupational safety standards set by the state and monitored by OSHA.
When it comes to OSHA requirements for employers that utilize PPE, some responsibilities they must follow include:
- Providing appropriate PPE for employees
- Training employees to use PPE
- Performing hazard assessments of the workplace to identify physical and health hazards
- Maintaining PPE if damaged or worn
- Reviewing the effectiveness of a PPE program and updating or evaluating standards if need be
What Is OSHA Compliance Training?
OSHA requires employers to train employees who face hazards on the job and provides many resources. This training ensures that all employees and supervisors understand how to approach and control hazards related to their daily tasks, especially if the workplace requires an OSHA safety plan. These situations can include:
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200(e)) requires a written chemical worker right-to-know safety plan
- HAZWOPER Safety and Health Plan (1910.120(b))
- Emergency Action Plan and Fire Prevention Plan (1910.38 & 1910.39)
- Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (1910.1030(c))
- Respiratory protection (1910.134(c))
- Hazardous energy control (1910.147(c))
- permit-required confined space plan (1910.146(c)(4))
Since OSHA compliance can only be completed with OSHA compliance training, employers must provide the necessary resources for their entire workforce. Whether it’s equipping staff with a first aid kit, displaying OSHA posters, filing reports, creating backup plans in case of emergencies, or even decluttering or cleaning spills in a timely fashion, employees must be equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle these situations when they arise.
Stay Compliant with an OSHA Compliance Software Program
At Immuware, we design and deliver employee health software and services that enable our clients to serve their communities more effectively. This includes OSHA reporting software functionality that takes the guesswork out of tracking employee health.
We offer highly configurable, securely hosted software which is easy to use and draw reports from. With OSHA software, compliance becomes a significantly more straightforward task, allowing your organization to keep track of records and quickly pull up the information you need when you need it.
Contact us today to learn more about our products or services or request a demo. Additionally, you can stay updated on employee health and safety by reading our news page.