Employer and Employee Safety Responsibilities
Under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. A short summary of some of the key employer responsibilities include:
- Provide a workplace free from serious hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act.
- Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards
- Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment, and that they properly maintain this equipment.
- Use color codes, posters, labels, or signs to warn employees of potential hazards.
- Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Post at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA poster (or the state-plan equivalent) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities.
- Report to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours any fatal accident or one that results in the hospitalization of 1 or more employees.
- Keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Provide employees, former employees, and their representatives access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300), Posted from Feb 1 to April 30.
Here at William A. Hazel, Inc. we take this responsibility seriously. As a site contractor our work environment is full of dynamic and changing hazard conditions. To combat this reality, we provide our employees with the training, equipment, and supervision necessary to recognize the unsafe or potentially unsafe working conditions.
No amount of training or equipment can replace worker responsibility. You the employee are responsible for using your training and equipment correctly, just as William A. Hazel, Inc. is responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace or the safety equipment and training to protect you from the hazards. You are responsible for wearing proper PPE, utilizing safe lifting techniques, and employing work practices.
In the workplace, slips, trips and falls occur more frequently than any other type of accident. Along with the alarming frequency of these accidents, slips, trips and falls can result in severe disabling injuries especially to the head and back. Although vehicular accidents lead the accidents statistics year after year, falls continue to remain the next leading cause of disabling injuries and deaths, particularly among the elderly.
Falls can be from the same level or from different levels. Falls from different levels generally tend to be low frequency but high severity and are more common among workers in the construction segment. Slips and trips are more common in same level falls. In addition to the concern for slips, trips, and falls these accidents account for 20-25% of worker injuries in many segments.
Causation for slips, trips, and falls accidents is often more complicated than it appears. Different factors affect slip trips and falls. Reinforcing good housekeeping, visualizing your route through the jobsite, walking with purpose, avoiding uneven terrain and loose dirt, making sure you are firmly on the next step before you let go, and taking your time will also lead to a reduction in slips, trips and falls as well as other types of injuries. Having people bring attention to these hazards is the first step in avoiding the potential for a slips, trips, and falls accident.
There have been several slip, trip, and fall accidents that have led to significant injury this year. The cost is great to the employee and the company. Let us all take the time to refocus and perform our job duties in a safe and healthful manner.
William A. Hazel, Inc. has introduced two initiatives to combat accidents and injury. First, each crew is now required to fill out an Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA). The AHA focuses the crew’s attention on upcoming tasks and the hazards associated with each task and the corrective or protective steps that need to be taken. Second, the Stretch and Flex program, performing simple stretches causes blood to flow, warming and preparing muscle, tendon, and ligament for the stress and strain of the coming work activity.
Our goal each day is to return home to our loved one in the same physical condition as we left.