We attended a presentation at WIRE-Net by Cleveland OSHA Area Director Howie Eberts. Howie did a great job of giving attendees a thoughtful, human view of how and why OSHA does what it does in his district.
Informative slides were the foundation of his talk, but the takeaways revealed some interesting insights into our joint (Companies and OSHA) efforts toward employee safety.
1) Safety is important- not just for ourselves, but also for our families that are counting on us.
2) On the job fatalities have declined substantially from 1974 to the present- but there are still too many.
3) Most OSHA inspections are conducted without notice.
4) In Cleveland region, 85% of inspections are a result of employee complaints.
5) Be very careful posting photos on your websites or literature- If someone is obviously in the shop without wearing their required PPE…
6) It‘s your company-
- Why wouldn’t you want to have a prepared written plan for how your company will respond to a serious injury or fatality?
- It’s not unreasonable to assert your rights
- You DESERVE to be treated with respect
- So do our Field Agents
- How you treat our officers is on you
7) OSHA does have the right to interview your employees privately
8) To prove employee misconduct you need to prove all four:
- You have a work rule
- The rule is communicated to all employees
- You monitor compliance
- You issue discipline for noncompliance
9) If the agent tries to expand the scope and you don’t understand why, ask them to clarify why, if you still don’t understand, ask to speak with Howie
10) The facts show that the most dangerous thing that any of us do involves a motor vehicle; roadway incidents alone accounted for nearly one out of every four fatal work injuries.
We took a number of specific actionable tips and insights away from his presentation that we’ll be sharing exclusively with our PMPA members.
Photo credit: http://www.medinacountysafetycouncil.com/