If you run a business, you know work safety posters are important to have around. OSHA, which is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is around to make sure that as an employer, you are adhering to the Department of Labor's safety and health regulations.
Any business owner should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and their insistence that employers follow the Department of Labor's safety and health regulations and display the required workplace health and safety posters. While displaying the minimum amount of workplace safety health posters is by all means acceptable, there are a few more options for business owners to consider when making the most of workplace health and safety posters.
Federal and state laws require businesses to display certain posters in the workplace so that employees have ready access to them. These posters inform workers of various laws and standards that their employers must follow.
Manufacturing Bandsaw Safety Poster (pdf, 2355 KB) Description: A poster resource illustrating the appropriate way to use a bandsaw and things to avoid
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OSHA's Workplace Poster - English Version - Publication 3165 - Safety and Health: It's the Law.
Governmental labor agencies require your business to display certain workplace health and safety posters for the benefit of your employees. You can also voluntarily display other posters on these topics to educate your staff. Studies have shown that workplace injuries are a significant liability for businesses. Injuries make workers unavailable for active duty and create potential financial obligations. Posters can be an effective way to remind employees about workplace safety procedures, particularly if they are placed in areas where workers regularly congregate. Displaying these posters is only one aspect of your responsibility for workplace safety. Providing in-person training and proper safety equipment for employees are important follow-ups to the printed information on the posters.
Workplace health and safety posters are required by federal law in the United States. While these posters are mandatory for worker safety, these publications also offer substantial benefits to your business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2009, there were 3.6 cases of employee injury or illness for every 100 full-time employees. Making employees aware of potential safety hazards can help decrease these numbers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that employees have the right to notify their employer or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of any violations to workplace hazard laws. An employee who directly notifies you about any possible hazard can allow you to fix the problem before it injures employees or merits action from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Even if your employee only tells the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about his concerns, you will soon be notified of the substance of his complaint. This allows you to correct a problem you may have overlooked, allowing you to diminish future liability for workplace hazards.
In addition to general posters about workplace safety, there are also educational posters provided. These posters detail how to dispose of bodily fluids correctly, how to avoid contamination from pathogens, and other essential instructions for many types of businesses. These publications are an inexpensive way to offer current safety information to employees.
Could Reduce Employee Injuries
By displaying health and safety posters in prominent locations and in accordance with federal law, you can help your employees become familiar with important guidelines. This could potentially reduce the injury and illness rate for your business, leading to lower health insurance premiums and other operating costs.
As a business owner, you may think that diligently posting workplace health and safety posters has no downside. There are issues of concern that you should consider when deciding to purchase these types of posters to meet your workplace safety obligations. The primary issue is keeping the posters updated. Workplace safety laws change periodically at the federal and state levels. Safety standards also change; new equipment becomes available, and updated procedures are tested and approved. Unless you have a staff member who can stay current with the changes and update your posters accordingly, your posters may convey outdated information that can expose your business to liabilities rather than protect it from legal claims.
Your business is required by regulatory agencies to post certain workplace health and safety posters. Many businesses post additional information that is informative but not required under the assumption that more information is better and safer. If your business posts information but does not integrate the knowledge of the safety procedures into its employee training, you are creating liability issues for your business. For example, if you post a sign about CPR but do not train your employees in CPR, a court could find that you reasonably expected someone to need that type of help, yet you did not make sure your staff was properly trained in its use.
One of the more obvious pitfalls of using workplace health and safety posters is the issue of oversaturation of safety messages. Posters can be a good way to convey information, but if you post too many of them, people can tune them out. It is important to be strategic about what is placed on the walls. Often, it is advisable to use a number of different methods to encourage employees to keep safety procedures in mind. Relying too heavily on posters can ultimately defeat your efforts to increase workplace safety.
Workplace health and safety posters that your business is required by law to display can be obtained for free from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Specialized posters from private retailers usually cost from $10 to $25 or more per poster. Some suppliers offer discounts if you order in bulk, and this can also save on shipping costs.
Increasing awareness of safety issues in the workplace can positively affect your bottom line. In a 2005 study by Liberty Mutual, over 60 percent of surveyed senior financial executives reported that every dollar spent on injury prevention shows a return of at least $2.
Workplace health and safety posters can be used to educate employees about proper workplace safety procedures. You are required by law to display certain types of posters by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Be careful not to oversaturate your display areas with too many posters. Employees can tune out an overabundance of printed messages, reducing the effectiveness of this type of communication. Also, posters cannot be your entire workplace safety platform. Posters can only supplement training and the use of proper safety gear. Before you select the workplace health and safety posters that you will display, decide on a training and equipment plan that will substantiate the use of certain posters.
Any smart business owner should be aware of the safety laws and requirements for their specific business. Equally so, their employees need to be made aware of such laws and regulations. Keeping your employees up-to-date on these can be done by use of posters.
Placing workplace health and safety posters in a visible and high traffic area of your workplace is a great way to assure that you and your employees are informed about the safety concerns of your business. You want to find a banner or poster that effectively communicates the message, while also fitting into the space you work from.
Business.com offers an extensive guide on finding workplace health and safety posters when you are looking to ensure that your business is well protected. Without the proper understanding of safety concerns you place yourself at risk of being held responsible for the injury of others at your business Learn about emergency management techniques and current regulations while also enhancing employee performance.
Create a safer workplace and protect your business and employees with the proper precautions. Business.com has a thorough and extensive guide with quality companies who offer a good variety of health and safety posters. Look though the list of companies on the left to find the resource that has quality, professional posters.
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