Friday, June 21, 2013

Preparation: Reaping the Benefits of Safety Compliance

Every business owner cares about workplace safety for the obvious reasons. I mean, who doesn’t want the reassurance that their employees are working in a safe and healthy environment? However, many of Michigan’s manufacturers “play defense” when it comes to safety regulations. Let’s be honest…when we hear or say the words “safety compliance,” it’s typically accompanied by a roll of the eyes. 
Manufacturing Safety
People generally aren’t enthusiastic about adhering to regulations and sometimes view them as a hassle to say the least. Nonetheless, accidents do occur in the manufacturing field and businesses need to protect themselves accordingly. While we always hope for the best, common accidents like falls or getting caught in between equipment happen. 
In addition to protecting our workers, there are many regulations in place to prevent accidents and a failure to comply results in financial penalties from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
It is estimated that over 70% of OSHA inspections are unannounced and can lead to a variety of fines. The average fine is estimated to be approximately $2,300 but be upwards  to $70,000 for what is viewed as a “willful violation.” In the coming years, the average fine is expected to increase between $3,000 and $4,000. This money can be better spent elsewhere! 
Michigan’s manufacturers need to “play offense” when it comes to safety. According to OSHA, the following were the top 10 most frequently cited standards for the last fiscal year…so be on the lookout for the following:
  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication standards
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment
  8. Ladders
  9. Machines, general requirements
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements
A key way you can avoid penalties is to make yourself aware of existing laws and the inspection process. You can view Michigan’s state plan by clicking here and here. A little corrective action can go a long way to eliminate exposure to costly OSHA violations.
Another important way you can manage this is by obtaining OHSAS 18001 certification. This certifies that a manufacturer has undergone an official process to identify safety and health gaps and implement corrective actions to meet compliance. As a bonus, having certification can also enhance your marketability to potential customers and clients!
If you are interested in achieving certification, MMTC can help. Click here for more information about the process. If you are in the food industry, MMTC also has specialized programs to ensure safety regulations are being met. Click here for more information. If you would like to set up a call with a MMTC , call 888-414-6682 or email inquiry@mmtc.org.

Image by Poly Bag Pro.

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