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5 High-Risk OSHA Compliance Rules for Safety Officers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets workplace safety and health standards. These help to reduce workplace injuries and remove serious hazards. They also improve workplace safety and awareness for employees.

High-risk situations are sometimes unavoidable in the workplace. OSHA compliance rules reduce the risk of harm to employees in such events.

Safety officers help companies to achieve and maintain OSHA compliance. They provide compliance assistance when called upon. They are responsible for ensuring that private-sector employers are aware of any changes to OSHA standards.

As a safety officer, it’s important to always keep up to date with new regulations that are put in place to ensure workplace safety. 

All companies need to comply with these regulations. Non-OSHA-compliant companies can be fined and will be held liable for any injury that occurs. 

Today we’ll discuss some compliance rules that affect the general industry.  

Compliance Rules Concerning Personal Protective Equipment  

Man Wearing High-Res Vest and Helmet
Source: Pexels

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a requirement for employees that work in the construction, oil, gas, mining, and manufacturing industries. There are recognized hazards in these industries that can result in physical harm or severe injuries. 

Personal Protective Equipment General Training Compliance Rules

Certain industries need to provide PPE for them to be OSHA compliant. When conducting training sessions that cover PPE, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Employers must be aware that all OSHA regulations concerning PPE must be adhered to.
  • Employers must ensure that all affected employees receive adequate training. After such training, each employee must know the following:
    • When they are required to wear PPE.
    • What kind of PPE they are required to wear.
    • How to put on, take off, wear and adjust their PPE.
    • The limitations of their PPE and the extra precautions that they need to take even while wearing it.
    • How to take care of and maintain their PPE. Employees should also be made aware of how long they can use PPE and how to properly dispose of it when they are finished with it. 
  • After the training, all the employees must demonstrate their understanding of the proper use of PPE before being allowed to work using it. Their understanding must meet OSHA standards.
  • If any employee does not demonstrate adequate understanding and skill, you must retrain them. Other circumstances that will require employees to be retrained include:
    • If there are any changes to the workplace. 
    • If there is a change in the type of PPE. 

Expert Tip: Despite the use of PPE being widespread, PPE training must be tailored for each relevant sector. 

Respiratory Protection — General Training Compliance Rules

Man wearing a respirator
Source: Pexels

When conducting training sessions that cover Respiratory Protection, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Employers must be made aware that all OSHA regulations concerning PPE must be adhered to.
  • Employers must ensure that all employees who use respirators at work receive adequate training. After such training, each employee must know the following:
    • Why do they need to use a respirator when working? They must also show understanding of how improper fit, use, and maintenance of the respirator compromise the protective effect of it.
    • All the limitations and capabilities of a respirator. They need to understand the extra precautions needed while using a respirator.
    • How to use a respirator in emergencies, e.g., when a respirator malfunctions.
    • How to put on and remove a respirator. They also need to know how to inspect it and check that all the seals on a respirator are intact.
  • After the training, all the employees must demonstrate their understanding of the proper use of respirators before being allowed to work using them. Their understanding must meet OSHA standards.
  • Training sessions must be conducted at least once every 12 months. However, if needed, they must be conducted more regularly.
  • If any employee does not demonstrate adequate understanding and skill, you must retrain them. Other circumstances that require employees to be retrained include:
    • If there are any changes to the workplace.
    • If there is a change in the type of respirator that is used in the workplace. 

Compliance Rules Concerning Workplace Injuries 

Work Injury Prevention Programs are effective at reducing work-related illnesses, injuries, and fatalities. As a safety officer, it’s your prerogative to provide a comprehensive Injury Prevention Program when called upon. 

Every day at least 12 workers die from work-related injuries. This is approximately 4,500 workers each year. 

More than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness each year. With such staggering statistics, workplace injury prevention programs, especially in high-risk situations, are critical. 

There are OSHA compliance standards that target serious recognized hazards. These form the framework of how an Injury Prevention Program must be set up.

Worker using a potentially hazardous steel blade
Source: Pexels

When well performed, these programs result in a drastic reduction in work-related injuries. They have also led to increased productivity, greater employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and reduced costs. 

Workplace Injury Prevention General Training Compliance Rules

When conducting training sessions that cover Workplace Injury Prevention, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Employers must be made aware that all OSHA regulations concerning Workplace Injury Prevention must be adhered to.
  • Hazard prevention and control are of utmost importance. You must personalize this section to the relevant work sector in question. You must address all serious and recognized hazards.
  • For the program to be effective, management, leadership, and workers must all participate. They must be made aware of their roles to ensure that there is a safe workplace for all workers.
  • Education and training programs must be ongoing. Any new changes to the workplace must be addressed.
  • You must implement program evaluation and improvement strategies.

Expert Tip: When coming up with an Injury Prevention Program, don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Take time to tailor the training for the sector that you will be working with. 

Compliance Rules Concerning Occupational Safety and Health 

Maintaining the health of employees is important. Companies that want to be OSHA compliant in this regard must adhere to the following:

  • The employer must ensure that personnel are available to provide advice and consultation on matters that affect employee health.
  • If there is no infirmary or clinic on-site, a specialized health practitioner must be available on-site at all times. Adequate first aid materials should always be available. 

Compliance Rules Concerning Flatbed Truck Fall Prevention 

OSHA citation 1910.28 requires that employers provide fall protection for walking/working surfaces 4 feet or more off the ground. Flatbed decks are often used in the transport industry, and they qualify. 

Employers that do not provide adequate truck fall protection will be fined or held liable for citations or criminal charges.  

Workplace Injury Prevention General Training Compliance Rules

When conducting training sessions that cover Workplace Injury Prevention, you must follow these guidelines:

  • All employers with employees at risk of falling must provide a Fall Prevention Training Program for those employees. Clients must be aware that all OSHA regulations concerning Workplace Injury Prevention must be adhered to.
  • All employees undertaking the training must know the following by the end of it:
    • The types of fall hazards that are found in their work area.
    • How to erect, maintain, disassemble, and inspect the fall protection systems that they are required to use.
    • How to use and operate guardrail systems, controlled access zones, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, and warning line systems.
    • What each employee’s role is as regards to the safety monitoring system.
    • The limitations of the fall prevention equipment that they will be using.
  • Each employer must have a Fall Prevention Certification. Records of the names of employees, the date of training, and the person’s signature that provided the training must be kept. 

Expert Tip: For a more real-life approach to Fall Protection, refer to this case study that stipulates how OSHA regulations are applied in industry situations. 

Flatbed Trailer Fall Protection Systems That Improve Occupational Safety

The No Falls System
The NoFalls System

Truck Fall Prevention provides companies with flatbed truck fall protection. You can use this safety system to help employers to accomplish OSHA compliance. 

Fall protection is achieved by the No Falls System, which ensures that employees are safe at all times. 

Employees that work for trucking companies, or in warehouses, construction sites, shipping companies, product distributors, and manufacturers can all benefit from using our flatbed trailer fall protection systems

To make this process easier for our clients, we offer Free Risk Assessment Consultations. We also have a Free Risk Assessment Quiz that helps our clients determine their level of fall risk and what they can do to reduce that risk. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Mandatory to Record Training Sessions? 

Yes. All safety and health training sessions must be documented. Documentation will help the employer to prove that due diligence has been performed in the event that any employee is injured on the job. 

What Is the Best Way to Prevent Falls in the Workplace?

Adequate training of personnel and setting up fall protection systems are the best ways to reduce the likelihood of falls in the workplace. This is because most falls are preventable, and bringing awareness of potential fall hazards helps employees avoid them. 

How Can Safety Officers Stay up-to-Date With Any New Regulations? 

OSHA publishes any new updates or changes to current regulations on its website. If you are looking to stay up-to-date, visit their page regularly.



Featured Image: Pexels by Anamul Rezwan