3 Workplace Safety Rules Business Owners Should Understand

In November 30, 2017
On News

As an employer, you are subject to dozens of federal, state, and local laws regulating your professional relationship with your employees. Some such laws deal with firing and hiring, for example — while others govern wages, overtime, discrimination/harassment, etc. One of the most extensive and important sets of regulations surrounding your business, of course, are safety laws.

Though there is no substitute for carefully studying and meticulously complying with the exact safety regulations that affect your organization, you may find this quick overview of safety laws, presented from an HR perspective, to be insightful:

1. OSHA’s Due Diligence Clause. Regardless of what industry you are in, and regardless of what regulatory rules normally apply to your business, you should keep this clause in mind. Essentially, it states that you are obligated to undertake “due diligence” in order to provide a safe workplace. Any clear and easily-avoidable danger, therefore, automatically constitutes a violation. Training employees to recognize and report such issues in a timely manner, therefore, is crucial.

2. Industry-Specific Regulations. In addition to universally applicable rules such as the due diligence clause, OSHA also lays forth a number of highly-specific rules customized to the needs and realities of many different industries. (And the odds are good that additional state, local, and federal laws further regulate your organization.) Because such information can oftentimes be technical and complex, it underscores the importance of issuing thoroughly-written employee handbooks to new employees.

3. Whistleblower Protection Laws. Last but not least, it should be noted that OSHA provides a standardized process through which employees can report any unchecked safety violations to a governing body. As an employer, you are strictly forbidden from taking any retaliatory action towards employees who have exercised this right. Violating this so-called “whistleblower protection clause” can potentially result in even harsher consequences than the original offence would have merited. Moreover, taking retaliatory action can oftentimes spur employee lawsuits for issues such as wrongful termination or even discrimination.

To learn more about legal and ethical workforce management, visit Precise Payroll online today!

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