Employers’ Safety Responsibilities

By: Thomas T. Woods

Thousands of workers are injured on the job each year, costing hundreds of billions of dollars. If companies don’t want their employees searching for a workers compensation attorney Salem Oregon, they should have cultures that value safety.

Safety Training

Employers are responsible for providing safety training, including the location of any safety manuals, emergency exits and first aid stations. This training should be provided in the workers’ native languages or languages they are fluent in and understand completely.

Employers should also provide detailed training for any job that uses the body for physical work to ensure their employees know how to protect their bodies. For example, they should lift with their legs, avoid twisting and bending improperly and wear their protective equipment. Finally, employees should be trained on the conduct expected by the company.

Safe Workspace

An employer is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace. This means, they must not only adhere to OSHA requirements, but they must also be proactive in identifying and removing any safety risks in the workplace. Workers should also have access to tools and equipment that reduce the stress on their bodies, and this equipment should be properly maintained.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that each employee behaves safely and encourage proper conduct. They should also address unsafe conduct immediately.

Signage

First, employers should post an OSHA poster that lists their responsibilities and rights. In addition, hazardous chemicals or environments should be clearly marked using signs, posters or labels. All emergency exits and first aid stations should be clearly marked.

Open Communication

Companies should promote an open-door policy with their employees. Employees should feel comfortable discussing possible safety risks as well as injuries with their supervisors and the human resources department.

Not only should HR guide the employee through the injury-documentation and notification process, but they should also be available to the employees if they have any questions during their recovery. They should also request any medical records that discuss work-related injuries. An employer should never treat an employee poorly as a result of a work-related injury.

Records

Businesses are responsible for designating an authorized employee representative. This employee will work closely with OSHA compliance officers during company tours or other investigations.

Companies are responsible for keeping detailed records of every injury that has occurred on their properties. They should detail the injury’s cause; who, if anyone, was at fault; and any medical treatment that was necessary for each case. Deaths should also be documented and shared with OSHA immediately.

If you have been injured at work because of unsafe conditions, you may seek the counsel of a workers’ compensation attorney.

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