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Sea of Change at Cal/OSHA – Part 8

How should employers react to these changes? Aggressive enforcement policies and a front-loaded citation system demand aggressive preparations. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Don’t just say you will periodically review your written programs. Do not just add it to your To Do list. Instead, put a schedule of review dates on your calendar as a real event. Periodic reviews are as important as any other business meeting.
  2. Emphasize that every employee is responsible for safety. Empower them to question equipment, practices and directions which they feel are unsafe.
  3. Increase your training schedules. Spread the responsibility for training around. One effective tool is to have someone involved in a “near miss” do the next presentation.
  4. Conduct spot safety quizzes of all workers. After all, OSHA will.
  5. Discipline employees who are found working unsafely, regardless their status or good history. AND
  6. Document, Document, Document all that you do.

Finally, follow Davey Crockett’s advice: “Be sure you’re right and then go ahead.” Keeping your eye on compliance is key, but safety compliance is not safety. Don’t lose sight of the true goal – worker safety. Do the right thing, keep your paperwork current and hope for the best. You’ll sleep better if you do.

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