By Sheldon Primus
The OSHA.gov website is one of the most powerful resource sites for the safety professional and business owner. I've used this site repeatedly to research, gain training material, and uncover regulatory agenda for years to come. Unfortunately, there are many people that are unaware of the wealth of information buried on this site. This blog post will uncover the top five features on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website that will save you thousands of dollars.
OSHA Quicktakes is a biweekly newsletter released on the 1st and 15th of each month for subscribers to get the most recent information from OSHA initiatives, products, and services that will assist the subscriber. Past issues have revealed upcoming rules or open comment periods for proposed rules. Many of the posts show who, what, where, and how much a company has been cited by OSHA in recent months.
Quicktakes can save a company money by informing them of new regulations to prepare for in the future. Often people are unaware of new regulations, so they become exposed to a possible violation. Through the simple opt-in of this newsletter, a company can be ready and informed.
In a similar fashion as number five, the information found under the Law and Regulations is there to inform the user of the rules and regulations of OSHA. There are hyperlinks to all the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) laws, open comment items, compliance directives, and the regulatory agenda. This section has information leading to the OSH Act and historical notes.
Knowing the regulatory agenda for OSHA can prepare you in advance (sometimes up to three years) for any new rules. Decision-making for capital improvement projects becomes easier when you get a glimpse into the minds of OSHA. This knowledge can focus budgets and other planning activities.
The It's a Law poster is an OSHA ‘must have’ for your facility. It carries a $1,000 fine for not posting the poster, but it's available for free on the OSHA website. Not only can you dump the companies that send you this poster annually, but you can have this poster in several different languages. This poster can even be printed on your company computer in the right sizes to keep you compliant.
Publications can be the best way to share safety and health information with the workforce in a non-threatening way. Someone can need to research a topic that is new to them and can find this information on the OSHA website for easy download. As you scroll down the publication page on the website, you will notice the button that reads "Order Now". If you select this button, you can get publications loaded to your "cart". OSHA allows up to five different publications and five copies of each to be sent for free (taxpayers’ dollars). If you need a bulk order of publications, you can order them by phone and have them sent to your workplace for your training needs.
Susan Harwood Grant training materials is my pick for the number-one money-saving resource for any company on the OSHA.gov website. The grants are given to nonprofits, tribal organizations, and state- or local-government-supported higher education organizations that target underserved, low-literacy workers, as well as those in high-hazard industries. What makes this program wonderful is that the organizations must make their training public.
If you scroll through the index by topic, you will find many training materials in English and Spanish. Furthermore, the lion's share of material has PowerPoint, student handouts, quizzes, and facilitator guidance material. You can save thousands of dollars on training material by utilizing the available course materials provided by this grant program.
The OSHA.gov website can be daunting because of the vast amount of information housed on the website. OSHA.courses has a course devoted to the discovery of the data and services available on the OSHA website to help the small business owner or safety coordinator to save thousands of dollars, reduce injury and illness, and stay compliant with OSHA.