By: Mr. Gary Hanson, President of American Safety & Health Management Consultants, Inc.

OSHA has developed very specific responsibilities for employers covered by the Act. OSHA doesn’t have to explain these responsibilities to you when they visit until the Closing Conference. It is the employer’s responsibility to know what OSHA requires. These responsibilities are important and failure to know them can add thousands of dollars in fines.

Responsibilities – The Employer Must:

* Meet general duty responsibilities to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees, and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the Act.

* Be familiar with mandatory OSHA standards and make copies available to employees upon request.

* Inform all employees about OSHA

* Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable standards.

* Minimize or reduce hazards.

* Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment (including appropriate personal protective equipment) and that such equipment is properly maintained.

* Use color codes, posters, labels or signs when needed to warn employees of potential hazards.

* Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.

* Provide medical examinations when required by OSHA standards.

* Provide training required by OSHA standards and document the training.

* Report to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours any fatal accident or one that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees.

* If 11 or more persons are employed, keep OSHA required records of work-related injuries and illnesses and post a copy of the totals from the last page of OSHA 300-300A Summary during the entire month of February, March and April each year.

* Post at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA poster (OSHA 2203) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities (In states operating OSHA approved job safety and health programs, the state’s equivalent poster and/or OSHA 2203 may be required).

* Provide employees, former employees and their representatives access to the Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA No. 300 & 300A) at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner.

* Provide employees or their representatives access to employee medical and exposure records.

* Cooperate with the OSHA compliance officer by furnishing names of authorized employee representatives who may be asked to accompany the compliance officer during an inspection (If none, the compliance officer will consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning safety and health in the workplace).

* Do not discriminate against employees who properly exercise their rights under the Act.

* Post OSHA citations at or near the work site involved until the violation has been abated or for 3 working days, whichever is longer.

* Correct violations within the prescribed period.

* Contact OSHA within 8 hours of a death case of injury requiring 3 or more employees to be hospitalized from the same accident.

* Be provided with a copy of any written complaint filed by it’s employees at the time of an actual inspection.

Please check your procedures and ensure these responsibilities are communicated to your management staff. The time you spend may result in fewer OSHA violations and Fines.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Safety Program, please give me a call at 1-800-356-1274.

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