Water Well Journal

June 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/681918

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Page 41 of 111

COMPLIANCE RESOURCES FOR YOUR BUSINESS Everyone has a responsibility to make safety and health a core business value. A s an industrial hygienist, I am often asked to evaluate a company's health and safety program and help the company ensure it complies with all applicable OSHA regulations. But hiring a health and safety expert for long- term hazardous assessment and training might seem like a cost you just can't afford. Luckily, there is an abundance of free information and resources to help you in this area. Why Comply? As an employer, you have a duty to protect your workers from injury and illness on the job, and protecting workers also makes good business sense. But improved employee morale, work output, quality, and substantial savings in workers' com- pensation and lost workdays are just some of the benefits possible when injuries and illness decline. An effectively managed safety and health program that fo- cuses on your specific workplace hazards, and complies with state and federal health and safety guidelines, is critical and can reduce your operational costs as well as prevent employ- ees from being injured or becoming ill. So is buy-in from every manager and employee. Everyone has a responsibility to make safety and health a core business value. First Stop: OSHA Not surprisingly, the first stop I recommend in looking for assistance with compliance is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On the OSHA website you'll find in- formation about free consultation, interactive computer soft- ware, publications, technical and training information, and easy-to-follow guidelines and standards. It also includes links to OSHA local offices and the Small Business Administration. One valuable resource is OSHA's on-site consultation serv- ice available through its Office of Small Business Assistance. OSHA's free service assists employers in finding potential hazards at their worksites, improves their occupational safety and health management systems, and can qualify them for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. To begin the process, first contact your local OSHA office or visit the OSHA website to locate the phone number for your state's consultation office. Also under the OSHA Office of Small Business Assistance is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This law was designed to help small businesses understand and comply with regulations and give them more of a voice in developing new regulations. NIOSH Compliance assistance is also available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH, through its Health Hazard Evaluation program, responds to requests for evaluation of workplace health hazards. At no cost to the employer, NIOSH evaluates the environment and health of the workers by reviewing records and conducting on-site environ- mental and medical testing and issues a report with its recom- mendations for addressing identified problems. Internet Resources I strongly encourage all—but especially the small compa- nies—to take advantage of the multitude of good, free compli- ance information that is available via the Internet, but with the caveat: Buyer beware. There is also a lot of junk out there. The National Ground Water Association has an area of its website dedicated to safety resources. It features drilling safety guidelines and links to safety information. It also has a collection of safety fact sheets housed in a members-only area. The site's online bookstore also offers a complete selec- tion of books and DVDs available for sale. When you're searching for safety and occupational health information, make sure the source is reputable. Stick with nonprofit and professional associations, universities, and government agencies. Remember that regulatory issues are also posted on the federal websites and usually on state and provincial government websites. National Agencies In addition to OSHA, there are a host of professional agen- cies that focus on health and safety such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the National Safety Council (NSC) to name just a few. Industry and Local Resources There are healthcare societies and other professional organ- izations in your industry. Health and safety information is GARY GANSON, CIH, CSP SAFETY MATTERS When you're searching for safety and occupational health information, make sure the source is reputable . waterwelljournal.com 40 June 2016 WWJ

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