Safety violation penalties in the workplace will skyrocket by 80 percent, and OSHA is taking a real stance against unsafe practices on the job. Temporary workers sometimes pose a liability problem to companies, and with fines ranging from $12,600-$126,000 companies are pressured to correctly classify their temp employees. In order to prevent an OSHA audit, employers must classify their employees, but more importantly they have to understand basic safety measures before OSHA comes knocking on their door.
Here are some tips on how to create a workplace that is safe, and violation free.
- Clear any clutter.
A cluttered workspace isn’t just unsightly, it serves as a motion obstruction to workers and there is a possibility of someone falling over the materials or someone straining their back trying to move around awkwardly. An organized workplace is not only safer, it allows employees to work more efficiently.
- Store materials securely.
Items that are not secured properly run the risk of coming loose and falling, posing an obvious threat of injury. Unused equipment should be stored away, and shouldn’t be left out on the work floor.
- Keep equipment and tools clean and up-to-date.
Workers should always use protective gear when exposed to hazardous situations, and their equipment should be clean and maintained regularly. Damaged tools or equipment should be disposed of immediately so that no one uses it by mistake.
- Create a housekeeping written manual.
Even though employers are mandated to keep OSHA safety information posted at the workplace, it is important to write up a manual to outline the finer details of what is expected safety-wise in the specific workplace. Things like cleaning up spills and what materials to use should be written down, therefore creating a formal and definitive guide so that there are never any grey areas as far as procedures go.
- Visit the IRS Website for Employee Classifying Information.
The IRS Factor Test is a free online resource that outlines the relationship in between employee and employer, which can be used if there are temporary workers who are unsure what their position is. Again, classifying employees will save you a big headache if OSHA does decide to audit your business.
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