How can an employer help prevent workplace accidents?


The workplace can be dangerous. To reduce the dangers, OSHA has issued some key employer responsibilities to help prevent these deaths. Connecticut employers should implement these requirements to prevent a fatal workplace accident.

An employer must have a workplace that is free from serious recognized hazards and which complies with the Occupational Safety and Hazard Act. They must examine the workplace to ensure that federal law is met, correct cited violations and provide abatement verification documentation within OSHA timelines.

Accidents resulting in death or the hospitalization of at least three employees must be reported to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours. Discrimination against workers who exercise their rights under federal law is prohibited.

Employers should have safe tools and equipment and receive clearly-understood safety training. Potential hazards should also be identified with color codes, posters and signs. Operating procedures should remain current and information has to be provided on safety and health requirements.Where there are hazardous chemicals, employers should implement a written hazard communication program, train employees on the hazards posed by the chemicals and implement proper precautions.

Businesses have to provide medical examinations as required by OSHA standards. Employers are also encouraged to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Businesses with at least 10 employees or which are not engaged in certain low-hazard industries must keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. Employers must provide access to employee medical records, exposure records and Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses to employees or their authorized representatives. OSHA citations have to be posted.

An employer may be liable for workplace fatalities where it did not comply with federal and Connecticut laws. Families of workers killed in these accidents may be eligible for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Prompt advice should be sought to assure that just compensation is awarded.

Source: U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Employer Responsibilities," Accessed Oct. 12, 2014

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