A Safe and Healthy Workplace Return

by Michael Zalle

As more and more people return to the workplace in the New Year after working from home for months, a lot of adjusting is going to take place: back to wearing business casual waist down, no more checking to see if mute is on or off during meetings, and not having the household’s fuzzy companion at arm’s length during the day. There are a lot of aspects of running a safe and healthy company that do not need to be considered when employees are working from their homes. Companies need to remember all the risks that come with being in the workplace and be prepared to have precautions in place in order to keep employees comfortable being back in the workplace, whether that be an office, a construction site or a warehouse.

Each company is unique in its needs when it comes to health and safety, so it can be tough for business owners to know exactly what they need to provide for their employees. It is important they discover the issues before the issues are discovered for them, since OSHA fines are a minimum of $13,000 per violation. So, how do business owners know they are at risk without the fear of fines? By conducting a mock OSHA assessment. These can be performed by an environmental health and safety (EHS) professional for a much lower cost than a fine.

What to Expect from a Mock OSHA Inspection

Conducting a mock OSHA inspection can have a multitude of benefits for the overall well-being of a company. EHS professionals will be able to come in and identify gaps in the current health and safety program and suggest ways to fill them in. It also allows companies to learn what they are doing correctly and encourage those practices to continue. It is not often that people get to have access to safety professionals’ knowledge, allowing employees to ask questions that they may have concerns about. All these benefits will result in companies avoiding OSHA fines by abating hazards before they become a problem.

The EHS professional will conduct a standard safety evaluation and mark down any potential OSHA violations as well as look into the health and safety programs, training records, and injury and illness logs. From this information, the EHS professional can provide a report with best practice recommendations to move forward and provide the safest work environment possible.

How this Assessment Can Help Long-Term

To continue the success of a business’s safety program, EHS professionals can also provide training regimes for employees, so it is a group effort to ensure the safety of everyone around them. This training program might give suggestions for new employee orientations, on-the-job training and, depending on the industry, personal protective equipment and vehicular safety training. One of the most important pieces of training will be emergency response to ensure each employee knows emergency exits, evacuation routes and signals to alert other employees that they need to evacuate.

Because many of these safety training programs often occur when an employee is a new hire, they could easy slip through the cracks for employees who were hired while a company was doing remote work. At a time when health and safety are more important than ever, this cannot be left unaddressed. On top of that, overlooking this could result in a world of hurt where it comes to OSHA fines, so it’s best to correct any hazards before they become a problem. 

Michael Zalle is the founder and CEO of YellowBird, a gig-economy marketplace that quickly and easily connects Risk and Safety professionals with businesses on-demand, including helping with mock OSHA assessments by pairing a business with an EHS professional to help within two hours.

By providing a fast and efficient method for insurance companies, business leaders and skilled professionals to consult, YellowBird matches the right people in the right location with the right experience for the job. A career tech entrepreneur, Zalle has accumulated successful exits throughout his 25-year career. He is a part of the 2Gether-International (2GI) Tech Cohort Business Accelerator Program supported by Google for Startups, a leading startup accelerator in the nation run by and for entrepreneurs with disabilities. Zalle attended San Francisco State University and Pepperdine University with a focus on Business Management. 

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