OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses
It is your responsibility to know what you have in your workplace that could hurt your workers. Worksite analysis is a group of processes that helps you make sure that you know what you need to keep your workers safe. You may need help in getting started with these processes. You can call on your state Consultation Program, listed in Appendix E, for this help. Also, OSHA published a booklet entitled Job Hazard Analysis. (See Related Publications in Section V for ordering information.) Once you get everything set up, you or your employees can do many of them.
Here are some actions to take:
- Request a consultation visit from your state Consultation Program covering both safety and health to get a full survey of the hazards which exist in your workplace and those which could develop. You can also contract for such services from expert private consultants if you prefer.
- Set up a way to get expert help when you make changes, to be sure that the changes are not introducing new hazards into your workplace. Also, find ways to keep current on newly recognized hazards in your industry.
- Make an assignment, maybe to teams that include employees, to look carefully at each job from time to time, taking it apart step-by-step to see if there are any hidden hazards in the equipment or procedures. Some training may be necessary at the start.
- Set up a system of checking to make sure that your hazard controls have not failed and that new hazards have not appeared. This is usually done by routine self-inspections. You can use the checklist in Section IV of this book as a starting point. Add items to it that better fit your situation. Subtract from it those items that do not fit your situation. Your state consultant can probably assist you to establish an effective system.
- Provide a way for your employees to let you or another member of management know when they see things that look harmful to them and encourage them to use it.
- Learn how to do a thorough investigation when things go wrong and someone gets sick or hurt. This will help you find ways to prevent recurrences.
- Initially, take the time to look back over several years of injury or illness experience to identify patterns that can lead to further prevention. Thereafter, periodically look back over several months of experience to determine if any new patterns are developing.
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