Tips and Apps to Assure Your Employees' Safety and Health There are a range of resources at your fingertips to help keep your workers safe and healthy.
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Occupational health and safety: There's an app for that.
It's always a good time to assess what you are doing to help protect the safety and health of your employees. Not only is protecting your employees from injuries the right thing to do, the cost of workplace injuries is very high in lost productivity, workers' compensation claims and more.
And if you have an app addiction there is software you can load up on your mobile devices to help you with some occupational health and safety functions. Smart Media Innovations offers a free Occupational Health and Safety app for both iOS and Android devices that provides good overviews, training videos, recent safety news and other features.
This page of freeware includes some apps related to health and safety, such as the Environment monitor for Android devices, which measures noise levels and the iOS ChemAlert app, which will answer many of your chemical safety questions.
The Question of Compliance
Along with the practical matters of making sure your facilities and procedures are designed to keep your team safe, there is also the issue of compliance. Businesses of all sizes need to be certain that they are adhering to the regulations that govern their industry. Generally speaking, there are federal regulations imposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and state regulations.
The first question you need to answer is whether you are governed by the general federal OSHA regulations, or the more specific OSHA-approved state regulations. The U.S. Department of Labor will help you out here with its overview of state plans. If your business is regulated by a state plan, you'll need to find that agency's website for more information.
Related: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Worker Safety
If your state comes directly under OSHA regulations, the next step is to determine how your business is classified and then begin drilling down to find the regulations that cover your facilities and the type of jobs performed. Again, the Department of Labor has a "Quick Start" webpage that will zero in on your specific industry and help you understand your compliance obligations.
A Free eBook
Of course, quick-start guides are exactly what they claim to be and don't offer a comprehensive assessment. For more details, OSHA has an excellent 56-page PDF "Small Business Handbook" written to "help small business employers meet the legal requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and achieve an in-compliance status before an OSHA inspection." A web-based HTML version is here.
The document has a good table of contents so you can quickly get to the areas that concern your operation. It also includes excellent checklists that will help you be sure you aren't overlooking any important details.