With the passing of Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, US Congress created Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe & healthy working conditions of workers. OSHA is part of the United States department of Labor. This was long overdue comprehensive federal government legislation as through the civil war and industrialization of United States – countless precious lives were lost due to unsafe working conditions at workplace & lack of legislations for managing workplace hazards.
Data shows a solid workplace safety culture implemented by owners’ commitment to workplace safety ensures higher worker retention, higher ownership of employees with the company leading to increased productivity. There are economic advantages for owners to enforce a good workplace safety culture:
- New Business opportunities as it satisfies new customer’s demands for a viable safety program.
- OSHA Compliance
- Employee Training
- Protecting Workers Compensation Rates
In addition, it reduces the possibilities of OSHA violations, OSHA fines and any litigations. A business with a history of OSHA violations/fines does not give confidence to new customers. In addition, multiple OSHA violations or OSHA fines can lead to loss of current customers as well. OSHA violations Or OSHA fines can have a negative impact on the morale of the company employees and company may run into a vicious cycle of employee turnover.
Our past can improve future. There have been numerous incidents where if proper trainings and procedures were followed, precious lives could have been saved.
In our own Houston metropolitan area, there have been incidents which could have been avoided like.
Incident 1: Few years back, In Houston area, a supervisor in charge of a roofing company walked out of the edge of a 5 story building under construction and died. The real cause was supervisor was in mobile conversations with his wife and arguing over some home issue. Supervisors’ eyes were open but mind was not on task and cell distraction caused a fatality.
Incident 2: Again in Houston metropolitan area, few years back, an employee working in a machine shop while using his lathe machine put his hand down to pick up a ringing cellphone and in the situation got his fingers along the line oif fire and metal shaved his three fingers.
Incident 3: Few years back in Houston area again: A forklift operator missed to watch an operator nearby and backed up his forklift. The wheel of the forklift around 5000lbs went onto the steel-toed shoes of the operator. Steel toed shoes caved in and he lost 3 toes.
Incidents like above and many more can be saved by simple behavioral change and a rigorous training programs by the employer.