To reflect changes in the workplace and a shifting economy, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released new recommended practices within its Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.
The recommended practices provide a step-by-step approach for setting up a safety and health program across a variety of small and medium-sized business environments. They also include information specifically aimed at temporary worker and multiemployer work situations.
OSHA has focused the recommended practices on finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury, illness or death, rather than reacting to problems. Seven core elements inform the guidelines:
• Management leadership, where business owners, managers, and supervisors make worker safety and health a key organizational value
• Worker participation in establishing, operating and evaluating the safety and health program
• 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
OSHA says that a study of small employers who follow safety and health best practices found that the average number of claims decreased 52%, cost per claim dropped 80%, and average lost time per claim shrunk by 87%.