Is Your Company Proactive or Reactive - 09/12/2016

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.

Is Your Company Proactive or Reactive


As I mentioned last week, I would like to help you take full advantage of employee safety and what it has to offer your company, to help you and everyone else in your company see the value of safety, and provide you the easiest way possible to make it happen.

To help make this happen I’d first like to ask you a question.

Is your company proactive or reactive when it comes to employee safety?

I’m sure you already know the answer to this for your company, but I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to review some of the proactive and reactive ways I’ve seen companies handle safety in the past.

As many of you know, I’ve represented over 500 cases with OSHA for our clients over the past 17 years. These cases have ranged from a case that had just 2 violations that were considered other than serious and had a penalty value of just $600 to one that had a serious violation and 2 willful violations with a penalty well over $100,000.

I’d like to start with the company that had the willful violations with the penalty of over $100,000. I like to refer to them as an example of a company that handled employee safety in a reactive way. I think you’ll be able to see why.

This company had some issues with OSHA in the past, but all in all tried to run a safe operation. Prior to being visited by OSHA this company had very few accidents and in its 9 year history had never had a serious accident. In fact, as I recall they only had 2 OSHA recordable issues and I think they both were for stitches.

After their first run in with OSHA, the company purchased a safety program for their company and begin to do some safety meetings when they had time.

After their second visit from OSHA, they had all of their foremen take the 30 OSHA course and tried to implement having safety meetings on a regular basis.

After their third visit from OSHA, they began to have their foremen perform regular and frequent workplace inspections, started an employee enforcement program and finally were able to have regular scheduled safety meetings with their employees.

Then came the big one - the visit from OSHA that no one expected. And when the violations came, no one could believe them. Although the company had made changes over time, OSHA felt that they hadn’t done enough and with their knowledge of OSHA requirements and their previous history, it was time to teach them a lesson.

The second company I’d like to talk about is the one with the 2 other than serious OSHA violations and the $600 penalty.

When they first came to us for help, it was to develop a safety program for their company. They had been in business for a few years, had never had any OSHA recordable injuries, and no visits from OSHA. When I asked why they were looking for a program, their answer was something like, “We think it’s time we started taking safety more seriously at our company.”

As we continued our conversation, they asked what they would need to do to be in compliance with OSHA so I gave them the 4 things they would need to do.

  1. Develop company policies and procedures for safety
  2. Effectively communicate their policies and procedures with their employees
  3. Perform regular and frequent workplace inspections
  4. Enforce safety with their employees.

After hearing what they needed to do, they said they believed they could do that so we provided the company their program. I don’t recall ever hearing back from them until they received their OSHA violation. It was then that I learned that they had taken the information we had provided and implemented it to the T. In fact, they had done it so well that we were able to get their citations withdrawn by OSHA.

Now that is a company that without question handles employee safety in a very proactive way.

So now that you’ve heard my example of a company that handled employee safety in a proactive way and one that handled it in a reactive way, which is your company?

Take some time and really think about it and next week we’ll talk about how you can make sure your company handles safety in a proactive way.

If you were wondering how the company that had the willful violations with OSHA turned out, they ended up with a few serious violations and less than $20,000 in penalties. 

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Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!

Contact Information


U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
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