The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a Department of Labor government agency created by Congress in 1970. Its mandate is to set and enforce safe and healthful working conditions for workers. Before this time, safety standards were determined by industries and companies. As shown in this 1932 image of New York City construction workers taking a break, there were no safety ropes while building the high rises that make up the city’s skyline.
OSHA regulates the following:
- Use of hand tools and power tools
- Work near flammable liquids
- Work over or near water (including houseboats)
- Respiratory and other PPE (Covid-19 masks, sanitizers, gloves)
- Safety belts
- Head, eye, and hearing protection
- Housekeeping of debris, parts, and equipment
- Stairways, ladders, and preventing falls
- Work in heat
- Education and guidance to farmworkers
All workers deserve a safe work environment. For safety to come first, employees need reminders to practice safety in all aspects of the workday. For example, it takes time and training to pick up objects off the floor so that you and others don’t trip over them. It also takes time to coil cords and to make sure to wear eye protection when doing just one quick job fix. And, it takes training to learn to never cut toward your body with a reciprocating blade.
Remembering what to do and not to do needs daily reinforcement by leads and supervisors. Consequently, daily practice becomes a habit for the workers, and they often remind each other to work safely.
OSHA and Raymark Safety Practices
As an employer, we are actively committed to providing a safe workplace. We communicate safety requirements, provide safety training, and emphasize continuous safety practices. We make sure employees safely use properly maintained vehicles, tools, and equipment.
In addition, employees wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands often. And, we’ve created an environment where workers feel included, heard, and respected. Frequent and open communication is a key part of workplace safety and health.
It takes dedication and commitment to safety practices to ensure every worker returns home safely to their family after the workday. It is our responsibility to build and support these practices.
In the words of the Department of Labor, “OSHA recognizes that regulations alone are not enough to change the safety culture in America, but a safety and health program is a way to start the journey to a safer workplace. Today’s responsible business owners are actively managing safety in the workplace.”