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OSHA is very aggressive in promoting workplace safety

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How do you deal with the OSHA challenge to your business? There are several steps:

  1. Work on making your work space the safest in your industry. When you first open up, consider hiring an OSHA authorized trainer and safety consultant to do a review of your workplace. Have all of the exit signs and other signs and all fire extinguishers and every other safety facet covered. (Of course, the private marketplace, through the incentive of lower insurance premiums, self-regulates itself here. However, the government does not believe that.)
  2. Do a review every few months to make sure you are in good shape. Speak with your safety consultant about conducting periodic reviews.
  3. Think twice before settling with OSHA on an OTS violation. They may be trying to set you up for a later repeat violation penalty, which can be up to $70,000 per violation.
  4. If faced with an initial violation talk to your safety consultant and attorney about fighting it through the OSHA hearing process.
  5. Do not put in place any incentive programs designed to encourage work place safety. In government think such safety programs create a disincentive to report injuries and are thus now considered an OSHA violation. (When encouraging safety is penalized by the government agency in charge of promoting safety you have to start seriously thinking about the consent of the governed.)
Original publish date: July 10, 2013

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