New OSHA Guidance
Attention all employers! The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just released new guidance to help prioritize the health and safety of all employees. Here at EcoOnline, we believe in creating safer, more sustainable workplaces for all employees to help everyone get home safely at the end of the day. OSHA echoes the same sentiment, which is reflected by this new change.
Read on to learn more about:
- What is the new OSHA guidance?
- How an EHS solution can help
- How EcoOnline can help your organization
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What is the New OSHA Guidance
On January 26th, OSHA issued an update which will go into effect on March 27th, 2023. Auditors can now issue citations on an instance-by-instance basis. What does this mean? This means that organizations will not only receive penalties for a particular incident but could now face multiple fines for every instance of non-compliance related to an employee, equipment, and more.
These instance-by-instance citations will be in effect for violations of OSHA standards related to:
- Lockout tagout
- Machine guarding
- Permit-required confined space
- Respiratory protection
- Other than serious violations related to recordkeeping
Auditors are also encouraged to cite violations separately rather than grouping them, so organizations and employers will be more likely to comply.
To find out more about instance-by-instances violations, read OSHA’s latest article.
How a Health and Safety Solution Can Help
A digital health and safety solution can help you better protect workers and avoid these citations. The following are just some of the benefits software can offer your organization:
1. More effective hazard identification and assessment
One of the best ways to stay ahead of incidents and nonconformances is through efficient hazard identification and assessment. A digital solution can help streamline your hazard identification and assessment process at the workplace, as it can all be done digitally! With a robust mobile app, you can place safety in the palm of your workforce’s hands, allowing them to instantly report hazards, including uploading and annotating photos. These can then be digitally sent to the necessary stakeholders.
This will help to boost employee engagement and participation, as well as help drive safety performance. A digital solution can help hold everyone accountable for creating a safer workplace and help you begin to implement a more proactive approach to safety.
2. Streamlined risk mitigation
A digital solution can also help drive safety performance through quicker risk mitigation. With the help of automated capabilities as well as corrective action notification set-up, key stakeholders can be notified immediately, and corrective actions can be assigned. The status of corrective actions can also be shared, creating more accountability among the workforce. This can help increase employee involvement in workplace safety and behaviors.
Having such a tool also helps to standardize procedures across the organization. That way, if your organization has multiple sites or teams, a digital solution can help create and house a single procedure that all can follow. Proof that corrective actions were taken can also be documented and shown to auditors during an inspection to avoid potential fines.
3. A central repository of safety documentation and records
Health and safety software gives you the opportunity to digitize and centralize your safety program. Not only are you able to store all your documents, safety data, and records in one cloud-based location, but it also makes it easy for key stakeholders to access information when needed.
Forget spending hours sifting through boxes or looking through files of paper documents to find what you’re looking for. With a digital solution, easily pull up any required proof, data, or documentation needed during an audit in seconds!
4. Greater insight into gaps and weaknesses
Now, with everything in one location, you can easily uncover gaps within your health and safety program. A cloud-based solution offers 360-degree visibility into your safety program and performance, making it easier to identify any gaps or weaknesses.
With the help of a digital solution, you can also create custom dashboards specific to the data you would like to track to help you gain real-time insight into the effectiveness of your safety program. Once all problem areas are uncovered, you can quickly work towards prioritizing which to tackle first and how to best mitigate risks which could potentially lead to OSHA fines.
5. More efficient behavior-based safety observations
A health and safety solution also allows you to conduct more efficient behavior-based safety observations (BBSOs) through a mobile-first application. Allow employees to easily record their findings within the health and safety solution and begin to track potential risks and root causes across your organization. This will help to mitigate risks and hazards, reducing your chance of receiving a citation.
These types of observations are vital to assessing workplace behavior, as they can help you get to the root cause of nonconformances on site. Many leaders are under the misconception that BBSOs are an opportunity to point out what employees are doing wrong, but it should actually be an opportunity to discover what employees are doing right. This will help empower your teams and create a stronger safety culture.
To find out more about this topic, read our guide: Your Behavior Based Safety Observation (BBSO) Guide: What to Consider and Avoid.
6. Training and awareness
Easily assign courses and track training through a digital solution. To stay ahead of citations related to lockout/tagout, for instance, you must be able to properly train your teams on how to conduct such procedures and mitigate hazards. Create employee profiles where you can easily see which certifications they have completed and which are not yet finished, with automated reminders to stay ahead of upcoming expiry dates.
A digital solution will also help you gain greater insight through training reports by employee, job site, and/or department. Drive safety performance by correlating training and incident reports to stay ahead of potential citations.
How EcoOnline Can Help Your Organization
EcoOnline’s health and safety solutions can help you avoid fines related to instance-by-instance violations through our various capabilities:
- Greater Transparency: Gain 360-degree visibility into your safety program to easily identify all problem areas.
- Analytics and reporting: Use our robust reporting engine to collect the right data for your organization to assess safety performance and make data-driven decisions.
- Lockout/tagout: Document and assign all lockout/tagout procedures with information on who conducted which step, the time it was done, and more
- Inspections: Instantly conduct or create scheduled inspections with our mobile app to make sure the right engineering controls are in place such as machine guards, barriers, and more.
- Automated corrective actions: Work quickly to mitigate hazards through our automated corrective action set up capabilities.
- Training: Access 300+ eLearning courses to help train your teams on hazards related to working at heights, respiratory protection, and much more to keep your teams safe. Create training profiles for each employee and easily set reminders before upcoming expiry dates to avoid fines.
- Permit to work: Streamline operational processes in real time while working on site.
- Front-line Worker Participation: Boost participation rates through our mobile-first safety solution, allowing employees to conduct hazard identifications, inspections and safety observations from their mobile device.
- Recordkeeping: Save time on administrative work by digitally completing your OSHA 300 and 301 forms.
- And much more!
Curious to explore how our health and safety solutions can help you avoid hefty OSHA violations? Fill out the form below, or speak to an EcoOnline representative today.