OSHA Updates Its Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs

 
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
 

OSHA recently updated the Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs it first released 30 years ago.  The updated guidelines were implemented to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The new Recommended Practices are designed to be used in a wide variety of small and medium-sized business settings. The Recommended Practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.

The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers. The recommended practices use a proactive approach to managing workplace safety and health. Traditional approaches are often reactive –that is, problems are addressed only after a worker is injured or becomes sick, a new standard or regulation is published, or an outside inspection finds a problem that must be fixed. These recommended practices recognize that finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness is a far more effective approach.

OSHA's goal is that employers to begin with a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. Focusing on achieving goals, monitoring performance, and evaluating outcomes, can help the workplace progress along the path to higher levels of safety and health achievement.

The seven core elements are:

-Management Leadership

-Hazard Identification and Assessment

-Hazard Prevention and Control

-Education and Training

-Program Evaluation and Improvement

-Communication and Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors, and Staffing Agencies

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