Employer’s Responsibility for Employees’ Occupational Safety
Under the OSH Act of 1970 from the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), employers have a legal responsibility to provide their employees with a safe workplace. Your business must also comply with certain standards, rules, and regulations (these may vary depending on your industry), and you may be subject to inspections or tests to ensure that you’re complying. This means that as an employer, you have to take the initiative to identify any hazards that may be present in the workplace and address them properly.
Here’s what’s required of you as an employer in order to keep your employees safe on the job:
Occupational Safety & Health Requirements for Employers
PPE, Tools, & Equipment
- Employers must provide any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) at no cost to employees.
- Employers are responsible for ensuring that any tools (both hand and powered) are well-maintained and meet safety regulations.
- Employers must also ensure that any heavy machinery and equipment also complies with safety and health regulations and is well-maintained.
Health Exams, Records, & Workplace Illnesses/Injuries
- Employers may be required to provide certain medical exams, tests, or screenings depending on the types of chemicals and other hazards present in the workplace.
- Employers have 24 hours to notify OSHA about any incident that results in inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. In the event of a fatal accident, employers must notify OSHA within 8 hours.
- Employers must keep accurate records of work-related injuries & illnesses, and provide access to that information – along with employee medical records and exposure records – to employees or their authorized representatives.
Signage & Posted Materials
- Employers must display the OSHA Job Safety and Health poster (which describes rights and responsibilities under law) in a place where all employees can easily see it.
- Employers must warn employees of potential hazards in the workplace. There are several ways to do this, including using warning labels, color codes, or other signs.
- Employers must post any OSHA citations at or near the work area involved. Citations must remain posted until the violation has been corrected, or three working days (whichever is longer). Abatement verification documents or tags must be posted as well once citations have been corrected.
Training & Education
- Employers must provide safety & equipment training in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand.
- Employers that use hazardous chemicals in the workplace must develop a written hazard communication program & educate employees about the hazards they are exposed to. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) must be easily accessible by employees to inform them about the chemicals they work with.
- Employers must establish operating procedures for employees to follow that comply with health & safety regulations.
*** OSHA encourages all employers to adopt a safety & health program. These programs create organized, written plans of action to identify & address hazards, define safety responsibilities, and how to respond to emergencies. These programs can proactively reduce both the number and severity of workplace injuries. The most successful programs utilize management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach in order to find and address any potential hazards. For more information, consult OSHA’s recommended practices for safety & health programs.
Are You An Employer Looking For Occupational Health Services?
At Colorado Occupational Medical Partners, our mission is to deliver the highest quality of occupational health care and physical rehabilitation to return patients to their highest level of function. Our team is dedicated to employers and patients, and we strive to develop strong, positive relationships with a culture based on safety, transparency, empathy, and trust. In addition to our occupational health services, we also provide health screenings, drug & alcohol tests, physicals, and vaccinations. To find out more, find our location closest to you.
Let Colorado Occupational Medical Partners be your source for occupational therapies and care in Colorado.