Health and Safety in the Workplace Toolkit

Resources to help employers comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and create and maintain a safety conscious culture.

Practical Law Labor & Employment

According to statistics from the Department of Labor ( www.practicallaw.com/2-501-6354) (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private employers in 2015 (see DOL BLS News Release: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses - 2015 (Oct. 27, 2016)). Workplace injuries and illnesses are costly for employers. Employees injured at work may be entitled to workers' compensation ( www.practicallaw.com/9-503-8277) benefits. In addition, an employer's productivity may be impacted if employees are away from work or limited in their activities for a period of time while they are recovering.

Workplace accidents can also trigger an inspection of the employer's worksite by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( www.practicallaw.com/1-501-7797) (OSHA), which issues citations to employers that have violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act ( www.practicallaw.com/9-501-7798) (OSH Act). For example, OSHA has issued citations to employers that failed to provide employees with adequate safeguards against workplace violence.

Employers can promote a safe and healthy workplace for employees and limit their potential liability by:

  • Conducting voluntary audits of their safety and health practices, including a workplace safety analysis to determine potential liability and how to reduce legal risk.

  • Adopting basic precautions to protect employees, including, for example:

    • banning smoking in the workplace to protect employees from the health hazards related to exposure to secondhand smoke; and

    • offering flu vaccinations at the workplace to help minimize the spread of the flu.

  • Implementing workplace safety policies and procedures addressing topics such as:

    • training employees and managers on proper safety procedures;

    • prohibiting the use of illegal drugs and alcohol in the workplace;

    • minimizing and responding to threats or violent acts at the workplace;

    • posting health and safety posters in the workplace; and

    • reporting workplace injuries, accidents, and illnesses.

This Health and Safety Toolkit provides resources employers can use to comply with OSH Act requirements and promote safety in the workplace.

 

Practice Notes

 

Standard Documents

 

Checklists

 

Articles

 

State-Specific Materials

 
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