Risk Management: The OSHA Inspection

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have the primary responsibility to enforce standards for health and safety of workers at any work place. It is an important best practice to ensure a suitable, comfortable and hazardless working environment for workers. Failure to ensure compliance with best practices for safety can have serious consequences once the OSHA gets involved.

To achieve their primary objective the OSHA conducts inspections and has the authority to audit the compliance of health and safety standards of any business organization in the Unites States. The OSHA sends its inspectors who carry out the inspection when they receive complaints, or hear about fatalities, accidents, or dangers. Alternatively, they may visit as a follow-up on an investigation to ensure implementation of best practices.

If the OSHA confirms violations of standards or non compliance with best practices it can impose penalties. This is often observed with small businesses because they may not have the resources to ensure compliance with best practices. Therefore it is important for business people to make sure that they have a sound understanding of the risks associated with the occupations the business. This helps to ensure that their workers are safe from hazards and taking protective measures.

The OSHA inspectors always research the history of the business and the owners before visiting the site. If there have been previous cases of poor risk management, the OSHA will take particular interest, and intensify the audit. Failure to comply with risk management, after being warned by the OSHA will only give them reason to take serious actions against the business owners or managers. They can also force businesses to get closed. If there have been accidents in the past, the cause must therefore be eliminated and measures need to be taken to prevent recurrences.

Hence, there should be compliance with policies, procedures, practices and protection against occupational hazards to ensure best practice. Additionally, it is a best practice to educate employees about health and safety measures to be taken at work. There should be proper training of the employees as a requirement for risk management. In order to ensure that these health and safety measures are practiced adequately, employers should encourage their workers to participate in compliance with the OSHA standards. These standards vary with businesses.

Looking out for the hazards is a best practice which every business organization should ensure. To ensure proper risk management procedures, there should be proper hazard communication programs installed in the work place. This will ensure immediate and accurate handling of hazards to protect the employees as well as the owners.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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