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Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards are something everyone in a company has a responsibility to uphold for proper workplace safety. Although laws require businesses to adhere to a particular set of safety standards, many go above and beyond these regulations. For safety standards and procedures to be effective, they must be in place for everyone to follow.
Being knowledgeable about typical risks and safety procedures provide your staff the tools they need to take safety precautions at work. Employers can avoid accidents and keep workers safe by spotting and anticipating hazards.
Compliance with Environmental, Health, and Safety regulations isn’t every business’s top priority. Some managers do not concern themselves with it exclusively. They consider it just another small facet of managing the business.
The issue is that your company cannot afford to take EHS compliance casually. And you’re in trouble if you’re asking, “Wait, what is EHS compliance?”
Managing compliance might seem like a difficult assignment when managers are short on time and resources. You need to be more knowledgeable about compliance if you want to keep up. What it is, why you need it and its requirements are what follows.
What Is Environmental Health and Safety?
Let’s start by answering the most fundamental question: What is EHS?
Business owners and managers should discuss environmental, health, and safety issues. It involves the collection of rules, policies, and workplace practices to safeguard employees’ welfare.
To protect your employees and the general public, your company must adhere to industry regulations like OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This list is explicit to EHS compliance. It is not only a moral requirement, it is also the law. Businesses that do not comply face inspections, disciplinary action and negative public relations.
The Importance of Environmental Health and Safety
Even while rules and regulations are a big part of abiding to safety measures, EHS compliance is also a duty to your employees and consumers. For EHS compliance to protect your employees and the general public, your company must adhere to industry regulations like OSHA.
Why It’s Important
Not only is it important, it’s a pledge to treat your staff and clients with consideration and respect. It’s a dedication to providing better work for your clients and to staying on the cutting edge in your business.
Customers today are more socially conscious than ever. Before handing businesses their hard-earned money, they do their research. Therefore, it benefits your business’s reputation to take the time to innovate on sustainability and safety issues.
Financial responsibility also supports compliance. The cost of cleaning up accidents increases as you experience more mishaps. When you can completely avoid those accidents, you save on penalties and workers’ compensation costs. Instead, you can apply your money to produce superior goods and services, and avoid hurting your bottom line.
Your Organization’s Responsibilities
According to OSHA guidelines, it is the employer’s duty to ensure a secure workplace. Practically speaking, that can take many different shapes.
For instance, it’s your responsibility to frequently examine your workplace to make sure that it complies with OSHA regulations and is risk-free. However, you also need to give your employees the proper safety training, PPE, and tools that are secure and up to date.
This holds true for all situations, including secure chemical storage, the removal of respiratory dangers, personnel health inspections, and routine equipment maintenance and inspection.
Abiding EHS Rules
The first step in successfully complying with the law is to determine which regulations apply to you. It helps to designate a special person for this job, and make sure they are familiar with the legal responsibilities and ramifications.
Remember that laws frequently change, so you should get in the habit of checking for updates.
Assess how your workplace conforms to requirements from there. Now is the time to get it in shape, if it isn’t already. Conduct routine inspections, instruct your staff in safety protocols and assess compliance.
If necessary, invest in technologies that will make compliance-related chores easier. Investing in staff safety is worthwhile.
Create an ongoing compliance process if you haven’t already. No matter what, someone should be in charge of ensuring you remain compliant. Additionally, if your workplace isn’t compliant, there should be measures in place to deal with it.
Putting EHS Compliance To Work For You
It is insufficient to be able to respond to the question, “What is EHS compliance?” To meet the challenge and ensure the safety of your employees, you must be ready.
Obtain an OSHA Business handbook or EHS software solutions to address your most pressing issues. This way, you can stay on top of the little things while concentrating on what really matters: Your employees.
The OSHA Inspection Preparation Checklist
You won’t get advance notice if an OSHA inspection takes place at your facility. The best approach to get ready for an inspection is to have an active, regularly evaluated health and safety program.
To assist you in conducting assessments, the checklist below includes a broad variety of safety subjects that are commonly part of routine OSHA inspections. Skip over topics that don’t concern your facility. When you’re done, you’ll be able to identify your safety’s strong points and weak points.
- A record of all injuries and illnesses (other than those only requiring first aid) are in the OSHA 300 log.
- Employee training records are available for review.
- A Hazard Communication Program document of guidelines exists and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are accessible to employees.
- The confined space program, including procedures for obtaining permits and entering permit-necessary confined spaces, is documented.
- The lockout/tagout program is clearly written so employees know how to de-energize equipment.
- A written respiratory protection program lays out the rules of selecting, testing, wearing, storing, and cleaning personal protective equipment (PPE).
Safety and Health Program
- An active safety program exists for maintaining employee safety and health, and it’s clear who is in charge of this program.
- The mandatory OSHA Job Safety and Health Protection Poster is prominent where employees can see it.
- Emergency phone numbers are easily and clearly accessible.
- First aid kits are available in all work areas. Someone is responsible for refilling these on a regular basis.
- Eyewash stations, sinks, and/or showers are available for flushing the eyes or skin after exposure to harmful substances.
- Employees have received appropriate first aid training and instructions about what to do in an emergency.
- The fire alarm system is certified and tested annually.
- All fire doors are clear from obstructions.
- Fire extinguishers of the appropriate type mount in accessible locations.
- Recharge fire extinguishers are regularly, and note on the tag.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Appropriate PPE such as face, head, eye, hand, and foot protection are available for employees who need to wear it to safely perform their jobs.
- Procedures exist for testing, storing, and cleaning of PPE.
General Work Environment
- The workplace is clean and sanitary.
- Organization in the workplace — Tripping hazards and other problems come along with a messy workplace do not exist.
- The minimum amount of restrooms are accessible to all employees.
- All aisles are appropriately marked and unobstructed.
- Covers and repairs to holes in the walking surface, so people can walk safely.
- Use non-slip materials are on wet surfaces to improve traction.
- Walkways that pass by moving equipment or other hazards are in place, so people won’t be susceptible to hazards.
Egress and Evacuation
- Label and illuminate exit signs, so they’re always visible.
- Enough exits exist so people can leave quickly during an emergency.
- Indicate all doors and routes that might be mistaken for exits to prevent confusion about their purpose (e.g. “NOT AN EXIT” or “TO STORAGE ROOM”).
- All exits are free from obstructions.
- All ladders are in good condition and receive maintenance regularly.
- All employees receive training about how to safely use a ladder.
Hand Tools and Power Tools
- All tools in the workplace are in good condition.
- Protect moving parts are to prevent injury.
- Tool storage is in a secure, dry location.
- Inspections and service to all machinery and equipment occurs on a regular basis.
- Power shut-offs exist within reach of operators.
- Emergency stop buttons are red.
- Procedures require that all equipment is de-energized or disengaged and locked out during maintenance or cleaning.
Welding and Cutting
- Inspect compressed air gas cylinders on a regular basis to check for leaks, rust, or defects.
- Signs clearly stating no smoking, matches, and other ignition sources are posted.
- PPE including eye protection, helmets, goggles and hand shields meet standards.
- Every receiver has a pressure gauge and at least one automatic safety valve.
- There is a current operating permit.
Compressed Gas Cylinders
- Labels on all cylinders are legible to identify their contents.
- Employees who operate forklifts receive proper training for the trucks they operate.
- Untrained employees are not allowed to operate forklifts.
- Forklifts have warning horns loud enough to be above normal noise levels.
- Brakes can bring trucks to a complete stop even when the truck has a full load.
- Permit-necessary confined spaces are only entered with the proper permit and according to the procedures of the confined space program.
- Have regular testing of the atmosphere before and while people are inside a confined space.
- An attendant is posted outside confined spaces while work is performed in case of an emergency.
- Respiratory protection is necessary if the atmosphere is unsafe.
- If an emergency occurs, responders only enter the confined space with respiratory protection and a lifeline.
- All work areas have adequate lighting.
- Work areas have appropriate ventilation systems.
- Hazardous substances such as blood and infectious materials are identified.
- Water for drinking, cooking, and washing is potable.
Flammable and Combustible Materials
- Proper storage containers and methods are used to prevent spontaneous combustion of materials.
- All combustible waste, debris, and scrap is stored in metal containers and removed from the worksite appropriately.
Hazard Communication and Handling Dangerous Substances
- Employees are trained so they understand hazards, can read SDSs and labels, and know how to safely handle chemicals such as acids, bases, caustics, etc.
- Employees who handle hazardous chemicals must wear appropriate PPE.
- There is a comprehensive list of hazardous substances used in the workplace and the corresponding SDS for each chemical.
- Employees are trained so they understand OSHA’s blood borne pathogens standard.
- Electrical equipment is installed appropriately and receives regular maintenance.
- Post the necessary labels of electrical hazards on equipment.
- Employees who will work on or near electrical equipment have received proper training.
- Temporary wiring such as flexible cords does not cause a tripping hazard.
- Noise levels in the workplace do not exceed 85 decibels.
- In locations where loud noises occur, employees wear hearing protection.
- Outlets and taps attached to pipes with nonpotable water are marked as unsafe for drinking, washing, etc.
- Where colored painted bands or tapes are used on pipelines, they are spaced at appropriate intervals and at outlets, valves, and connection points.
- Post a color code diagram for pipes, so employees can see what hazards pipes present.
- Names and name abbreviations are easily visible on pipe labels.
- Vehicles that transport employees have brakes, lamps, mirrors, horns, windshields, and turn signals and are in good condition.
- Vehicles have handrails, steps, and other devices to help employees mount or dismount.
In the end, compliance with Environmental Health and Safety will prove to be extremely beneficial to your business and personnel. Follow the rules and maintain the OSHA checklist, keeping it available not only to the person in charge of compliance, but your entire staff as well. Always be on the lookout for methods and strategies to enhance the safety and welfare of your employees, work environment and overall business.
Customer Equipment Company, empathizes with any Material Handling Facilities Management and Maintenance issues you may be experiencing. When using us as a supplier, please work closely with your CEC Customer Representative, to make certain your order is fulfilled in an expedient and efficient manner.
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