Tag Archives: employee safety

Reducing Exposure to Chemical Hazards at Work

According to David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “More than 32 million workers are exposed to 650,000 hazardous chemical products in American workplaces.” For this reason, the OSHA is continuing their Alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC). As an HR professional, knowing about this alliance and complying with all workplace safety guidelines is essential to helping to keep your employees safe. 

Goals of the Alliance
The Alliance between the OSHS and the SCHC will continue for two years. Goals intended to promote best practices in the workplace include:

  • Reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace
  • Addressing hazard communication
  • Reducing occupational illnesses and injuries due to chemical exposure
  • Increasing awareness of GHS – the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
These goals will help employees know what chemical hazards are in the workplace so they may avoid exposure to them. The Alliance will also disseminate information on labeling, safety measures, compliant labeling, and other best practices though Webinars, meetings, and national conferences on health and safety.

Your Role in Chemical Safety
OSHA helps ensure chemical safety in the workplace by developing and enforcing regulations, and offering training, assistance, and education. However, ultimately the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 places responsibility on the employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.  HR professionals should visit the Hazard Communication Web page for OSHA to learn the most recent revisions to standards, safety labels, and data sheets. The Hazard Communication Standard makes information available about identifying chemicals and their hazards. This includes:

  • Requirements for chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate possible hazards
  • Development of Material Safety Data Sheets and labels that are compliant with regulations
  • Requirements of employers to ensure that all chemicals have the proper labels and Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Requirement of employers to train workers in the proper handling of chemicals
Complying with all OSHA requirements and guidelines helps to keep your employees safe and helps to ensure you are in compliance with the law and safe from liability if an injury or incident occurs. 

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What Are You Doing to Combat Workplace Violence?

In September of 2011, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a directive entitled “Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents.”   While OSHA doesn’t yet have specific standards on workplace violence, this directive provides information on the procedure that an OSHA inspector is required to follow when responding to and reporting on workplace violence. It also provides details on what employers should do to try to reduce or eliminate the significant hazard that workplace violence presents.

The Dangers of Workplace Violence

According to OSHA , over 2 million incidents of workplace violence occur in the United States annually.  OSHA broadly defines workplace violence to include physical abuse, verbal abuse and other erratic behavior. Workplace violence is also defined as any altercation or incident of violence that occurs between co-workers or between workers and customers.

With over 2 million annual incidents, workplace violence is clearly a serious problem, but Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) research indicates just how serious. According to the BLS, homicidal violence is the fourth leading cause of death in US workplaces and the number one cause of workplace death among female workers.

The most dangerous industries for workplace violence include late night food service professions, healthcare professions and social services, but workplace violence can and does happen anywhere.

OHSA Recommendations for Employers

To keep your employees safe, there are a few specific steps OSHA recommends that employers take. These include:

  • Conducting an assessment to assess workplace violence hazards
  • Having a clear written prevention policy in place addressing workplace violence
  • Providing on-the-job training about the subject of workplace violence
  • Implementing procedures and policies designed to reduce violence
  • Training management and providing management support during emergency situations
  • Responding promptly to and thoroughly investigating all reports of workplace violence

Employers should also be aware of certain triggers of workplace violence, such as job terminations, and should take steps such as adding extra security to deal with sensitive or dangerous situations.

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Filed under Uncategorized

What Are You Doing to Combat Workplace Violence?

In September of 2011, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a directive entitled “Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents.”   While OSHA doesn’t yet have specific standards on workplace violence, this directive provides information on the procedure that an OSHA inspector is required to follow when responding to and reporting on workplace violence. It also provides details on what employers should do to try to reduce or eliminate the significant hazard that workplace violence presents.

The Dangers of Workplace Violence

According to OSHA , over 2 million incidents of workplace violence occur in the United States annually.  OSHA broadly defines workplace violence to include physical abuse, verbal abuse and other erratic behavior. Workplace violence is also defined as any altercation or incident of violence that occurs between co-workers or between workers and customers.

With over 2 million annual incidents, workplace violence is clearly a serious problem, but Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) research indicates just how serious. According to the BLS, homicidal violence is the fourth leading cause of death in US workplaces and the number one cause of workplace death among female workers.

The most dangerous industries for workplace violence include late night food service professions, healthcare professions and social services, but workplace violence can and does happen anywhere.

OHSA Recommendations for Employers

To keep your employees safe, there are a few specific steps OSHA recommends that employers take. These include:

  • Conducting an assessment to assess workplace violence hazards
  • Having a clear written prevention policy in place addressing workplace violence
  • Providing on-the-job training about the subject of workplace violence
  • Implementing procedures and policies designed to reduce violence
  • Training management and providing management support during emergency situations
  • Responding promptly to and thoroughly investigating all reports of workplace violence

Employers should also be aware of certain triggers of workplace violence, such as job terminations, and should take steps such as adding extra security to deal with sensitive or dangerous situations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized