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The Perfect Storm – An Employer’s Worst Nightmare

An employee gets hurt and is sent to the hospital. OSHA now needs to be called. A day later, another employee calls OSHA on an employee complaint. What could be worse?

OSHA shows up to investigate the employee complaint. OSHA also discovers that the company’s name has come up on a random list for a full inspection. Now the investigator is investigating the employee complaint and once that is complete, begins an OSHA audit for the entire facility.

During the OSHA audit, the investigator discovers there could be some carbon monoxide issues in the building. The investigator then requests an Industrial Hygienist from OSHA to schedule a time to come in for air monitoring.

WOW…In a very short, 10-day period, this company of less than 20 employees has had 4 individual OSHA investigations.

One – the employee accident where an employee performed an unsafe act which caused him to slip, fall and hit his head and ended up being admitted to the hospital.

Two – A disgruntled employee chooses to call OSHA for an issue that could possibly have been handled in-house.

Three – The random audit of the entire facility for a routine and general inspection is from wall to wall.

How often do all of the above happen within just a few days of each other? And then to add insult to injury, the Industrial Hygienist is called in. This company has already received two OSHA packets and now waiting for two more. As an employer, we cringe when we have to sign for one OSHA packet, and this company is signing for four different OSHA mailings.

The perfect storm? It can happen. Are you prepared? Do you educate your employees? Do you inform them of the hazards associated with their jobs? Do you discipline if they perform an unsafe act or do you look the other way? Do you make sure the air quality and industrial hygiene is monitored on a regular basis? All of these issues as well as some of the citations which were citation could have been corrected and avoided if the employees were trained and aware of the potential hazards.

Now, no one is perfect, but the perfect of four individual OSHA citations based on a company of approximately 20 employees is not how anyone hopes to start their week. OECS can help. We can educate your employees and layout the safety programs necessary for employee involvement. We can also conduct Industrial Hygiene testing if needed. Don’t wake up to the perfect storm when it can be prevented.