With the New Year brings a chance to tidy up and start fresh. While you’re making your to-do list, don’t forget to double check your safety and hygiene programs for refreshers and compliance with updated regulations.
According to OSHA, these are the areas needing the most attention:

Fall Protection Practices: As the leading cause of workplace injuries, this should be a top priority for frequent updates. In 2017, OSHA enacted new rules regarding workplace surfaces and reducing/preventing falls at dangerous heights.

Procedures for Workers Who Are Ill: Winter is synonymous with illness. Having a plan that allows workers to stay home and get well will help keep production levels up and prevent spreading of illnesses within the workplace. Discourage the guilt of taking time off by creating an open discussion.

Awareness and Information about Seasonal Dangers: While OSHA regularly issues updates with information regarding weather episodes, such as hurricanes and what you can do to mitigate the damage; it’s always good to have your own emergency plan specific to your building or facility. During snowstorms, create a snow emergency notification system to avoid having workers on the road during inclement weather. It also doesn’t hurt to provide tips for proper attire during the hot and cold months – especially for workers that will be predominately outside in the elements. Fatigue due to heat or cold is a real problem. Encourage workers to stay well hydrated and not to skimp on sleep.

Supply Correct Personal Protective Equipment: Millions of workers are exposed to elements that create a difficult breathing environment. Those elements can include smoke, gas, fumes, and even dust. Failure to supply respirators or other personal protective equipment could result an a fine from OSHA totaling almost $500,000 if found to not be in compliance.

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