If you’ve ever had a job in the U.S., chances are you’ve heard of OSHA. No, it’s not related to marine biology.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor. OSHA’s mission is,
“To ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
OSHA is kind of like the hall monitor at your school asking to check your hall pass on your way to the restroom or yelling at you to stop running to your next class. The hall monitor was there to make sure everyone followed the rules and stayed safe. Similar to the hall monitor, OSHA has a set of laws and regulations. These regulations are designed to keep workers safe and range from where hazardous materials are stored to what’s the best height for your computer monitor.
You might not have the fondest memories of the hall monitor. Maybe they didn’t believe you when you said the teacher didn’t give you a hall pass or maybe they shushed you in the middle of a very important discussion about the recent Dawson’s Creek. But you can rest assured, OSHA is all about your safety and happiness. By law, employers have to provide workers with a safe work environment. But OSHA also protects workers’ rights in the workplace like your right to file a confidential complaint to have your workplace inspected. The hall monitor works for the people now.
OSHA does require a variety of “hall passes” or compliance documents like written safety plans and records of incident reports.
Below are a few examples of things an organization must do to be compliant with OSHA:
- Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
- Employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must develop and implement a written hazard communication program.
- Provide copies of Safety Data Sheets for all substances on the premises.
- Keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Provide access to employee medical records and exposure records to employees or their authorized representatives.
The list itself is enough to make you feel like you’re drowning in paperwork. But it’s clear being compliant with OSHA is in everyone’s best interest. So how can you accomplish that without spending all of your time filing paperwork?
There are a few options.
Option 1: You could hire someone to be in charge of putting together all the necessary documents and keep up with deadlines.
This person would also need to become a specialist on OSHA guidelines as a misstep can result in fines. They will also need to be incredibly organized. OSHA is fair, but they’re not very patient and if they ask you for compliance documents, you should be able to produce them in a timely manner. Depending on the size of your organization, this job might require a committee. Pro tip: Make it fun by giving them a name like the Omniscient OSHA Order and having t-shirts made.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or resources for specialized committee swag.
Option 2: Use specialized software.
We’re living in a technologically advanced time and whether you’re an early adopter or still surrounded by multiple filing cabinets, there’s technology out there that can make your life easier.
MedTrainer has a built-in OSHA toolkit that gives you a step-by-step checklist of everything your organization needs to be compliant. Everything is stored in the MedTrainer platform so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of multiple binders. Incident reports can be a big hassle from making sure employees know how and where to file reports to keeping those reports together and stored for several years. With MedTrainer’s cloud-based platform, staff can fill out incident forms from anywhere, and MedTrainer stores them digitally with easy look-up access. Imagine everything you need like safety plans and incident reports and safety data sheets all in one place and searchable.
I know what you’re thinking. That all sounds amazing, but you were really excited about the specialized swag. MedTrainer’s got you covered there, too.
Meg is our Chief Care Officer and she is also an adorable and capable bear. Meg makes compliance as easy as possible for healthcare professionals like you. People often compare her to international pop icon Meghan Trainor, likely due to their career success, infectious personality, and dedication to their craft. When it comes to your compliance needs, Meg has your back. From advice to warm bear hugs, you can count on Meg.