Prevention: A Company’s Best Friend
A company generally never wants bad press. If the company is small, bad news might prevent it from growing or might simply end its existence. If a company is larger, then it might lose goodwill that will then take years to reacquire—if at all possible. Although the type of bad news can vary, most will likely agree that one of the worst types of news is to hear that one of your company’s employees died on the job. While one Washington Post story about a man who died after falling eight stories in a construction site in Washington, D.C. seemingly leaves off the name of the relevant company, that may not always be the case. When the public hears of a job-related death, speculations can run wild, approval of the company might plummet, and so on.
While a company should always prepare itself for the worst through things such as proper insurance and crisis management protocols, prevention is still what you want. Strive to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.
OSHA Rules and Regulations
OSHA, which stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a federal agency that was organized back in the 1970s. It comes up with rules that are meant to create and maintain safe working conditions. Different states may have their own versions of this agency as well. In addition to creating rules, however, OSHA and the similar state agencies have the power to enforce the rules. For instance, just recently, OSHA proposed a fine of more than $200,000 against a Massachusetts health facility for failing to correct a rule violation.
Since OSHA was formed to create safe workplaces, following OSHA rules is a great first step to prevent incidents from occurring. While there are many rules and regulations to follow and it could be overwhelming, an attorney experienced in the area is a great person to connect with to find out where to begin.
Go Above and Beyond
Yet, depending upon your situation, your company, and your company’s needs, simply following OSHA rules is just the base level of what you can and should do. A company can always try to go above and beyond by implementing safety policies of its own and furthering the safety education of its employees along with others who interact with its employees and business, such as its contractors, repairmen, and custodial companies.
In addition, incentivizing employees to adhere to safety standards—e.g. wearing proper protective gear, using correct equipment pieces—with needed or wanted rewards can go a long way. Going above and beyond OSHA requirements and what the law says that you have to do requires you to not only think about more policies, but also management techniques.
What Can We Do for You?
The Washington, D.C. business law attorneys here at Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing are here to help you out with your incident prevention strategies, interactions with workplace safety agencies, policy drafting, and related matters. We are here ready to help you.