The workplace is not always safe for employees in various industries and this is because of the neglect that is evident when it comes to occupational hazards. There is a way by which companies can reduce the effects of unfavorable governmental intervention and expensive legal action and this is if they seriously considered occupational safety and health programs as this will not only boost productivity but they can easily reduce the levels of injuries and deaths in the workplace as well as the costs that pertain to insurance premiums and the like. There is always that desire to steer clear from work-related injuries.
This is why there is a need for OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When it comes to this, OSHA has standards that need to be enforced but if the standards in line with federal rules or state plans are equivalent, the states can use these instead. OSHA general industry standards are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations or CFR, Title 29, Parts 1901 through 1910.
Considering that you are an employer with less than 250 employees, you can take advantage of the consultation and training services that OSHA and state plan states provide. These services include assistance in identifying and correcting workplace hazards and establishing an effective occupational health program. Insurance carriers, chemical suppliers, as well as engineering and industrial hygiene consultants can provide a lot of helpful advice to employers.
OSHA will initiate a workplace inspection in response to a reported fatality or other catastrophe, an employee or union complaint, referral from another government agency, or on a programmed basis. A company may be inspected after the evaluation of their violation rates not to mention their statistical industry injury and illness rates.
Meat packing is an example of a high risk industry activity and, therefore, may be subject to programmed inspections. You can expect special emphasis programs from OSHA when it comes to different industries.
Usually, the fine here is $ 7,000 or less but it can reach $ 70,000 depending on the offense. It is easy to be in direct violation of the OSHA Act’s general duty clause since these violations pertain to the failure of providing a worker with a workplace that is free from recognized hazards.
If there are any ergonomic hazards in your place of work then this means that you are violating the general duty clause. The sub-industries which make up the food industry are based on Standard Industrial Classification or SIC Code.
There is a specific threshold quantity or TQ that applies to any usable chemicals and any violations when it comes to this will become offenses against The Process Safety Management or PSM of Highly Hazardous Chemicals. In order to lessen the risks that are involved when chemicals are used, this standard was made. With regard to chlorine and ammonia, people regularly use these chemicals beyond their TQ and this is a problem.
In the case of violations against the PSM standard, companies should probably start considering looking for alternatives in the form of a less hazardous chemical to use and they should also think about lessening their inventories in line with this. It is important for an emergency action plan to be made if harmful chemicals will be used under the PSM standard. Considering that several employers will be handling such chemicals, the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard will demand the same requirement from them.
You want to have escape routes and procedures ready when you need them hence the importance of an emergency action plan. Also required are providing for procedures for employees tasked to remain to complete critical plant operations and procedures before they evacuate, procedures to account for all employees after emergency evacuation has been completed, rescue and medical duty assignments.
Taking the emergency action plan into consideration, you should have the preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies, an alarm system which complies with 29 CFR 1910.165 8, and of course a record of people who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties.
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