Many employers voluntarily put programs in place in order to try to create safer worksites and reduce the risk of a work injury happening. It makes good sense for employers to try to prevent injuries, as injuries can adversely impact productivity, can destroy employee morale, can result in costly workers’ compensation claims, and can change the lives of workers forever. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines to help employees design effective worker safety programs that actually reduce injury risks. It has been 27 years since those guidelines were updated, but OSHA has now revised them.
Employers may choose to incorporate the new advice from OSHA, but do not have to do so. Regardless of what efforts, if any, employers make at designing workplace safety initiatives, an employee should be entitled to benefits if he gets hurt at work. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can offer assistance to injured workers in making a benefits claim.
Preventing Atlanta Work Injury Through Better Safety Initiatives
Safety BLR reported on the new OSHA guidelines, which are an update to recommendations that have not changed since 1989. OSHA’s goal in revising and updating its recommendations was to simplify the format and to make it easier for even smaller businesses to develop effective workplace safety and training protocols.
Th guidelines include not only advice on how to set up programs aimed at decreasing the risk of work injury but also include additional resources for employers and supporting tools employers can use. The guidelines are based upon OSHA’s assessment of processes that could work across different fields, in many varying industries and types of workplaces. OSHA reports that employers have been successful in using the recommendations to develop safety protocols in technology; the retail sector; government worksites; the healthcare industry; construction; manufacturing; and education.
The recommendations from OSHA set forth seven “core elements” for employers interested in the development of a successful safety and health program. Those guidelines include:
- Encouraging workers to participate.
- Strong leadership from management.
- Identification and assessment of workplace hazards.
- Prevention and control of workplace risks.
- Training and education for staff.
- Evaluation of the program to find areas where improvement is possible.
- Coordination between different entities, such as contractors and staffing agencies with host employers.
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health said of the revision to the guidelines: “Since OSHA’s original guidelines were published more than 25 year ago, employers and employees have gained a lot of experience in how to use safety and health programs to systematically prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace. We know that working together to implement these programs will help prevent injuries and illnesses, and also make businesses more sustainable.”
Hopefully the guidelines will indeed be implemented by employers who will establish effective safety programs that reduce risks of injury. If injuries do occur, employees should get appropriate legal help so they can be compensated for work injury.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.