Core Safety Product Checklist – Business Essentials.
From first aid kits and supplies to fire extinguishers and required safety signs, make sure your office has all the essentials to keep employees safe.
Having a safe work environment, a proactive workplace safety training program and compliance to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is essential in today’s business world. Each workplace, no matter whether you have one employee or twenty five, must have the essential workplace safety program components:
First Aid Kit and Supplies
- First aid kits should be adequate for the number of employees and for treatment of the types of injuries that can be reasonably expected in the workplace. First aid kits need to be easily available to all employees.
- Fire extinguishing agent must be classified to meet the type of flammable and combustibles found in the workplace.
- Class A fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish Class A fires: These are the normal combustibles found in a office. Example: Wood, paper and cloth.
- Class B fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish Class B fires, such as flammable and combustible liquids. Example: Petroleum products, propane, and paint thinners.
- Class C fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish Class C fires, such as electrical fires. Example: Office equipment, appliances, and electrical equipment.
- There are multi class fire extinguishers available that are designed to extinguish more than one class of fire. ABC multi-class fire extinguishers (Recommended) are designed to extinguish Class A, B and C fires. There are also special classes of extinguishers for use with computers and exotic metals available. Your local fire extinguisher professional can help you choose the best extinguisher for your workplace. Fire extinguishers should be spaced in accordance to your state and local fire codes, and OSHA standards.
Emergency Exits and Egress
- Emergency exits posted and clear.
- Walking and working surfaces maintained to be clear of trip, slip, and fall hazards.
- Clearances that meet OSHA Standards and other regulatory codes.
- Egress clear and free of obstacles.
- Egress and stairwells properly railed with openings protected.
- Post areas prone to hazards such as slippery surfaces, terrain, equipment operation, or traffic.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- OSHA requires employers to complete PPE Hazard Assessments. This assessment is used to identify hazards in the workplace, find ways to eliminate or reduce exposures to the hazards, and to identify (PPE) requirements. When hazards cannot be eliminated through engineering controls and other means, PPE must be provided at no charge to the employee. Examples:
- Eye protection
- Hearing protection
- Head protection
- Hand Protection
- Protective clothing
- Respiratory protection
- Fall protection
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
- Every chemical manufactured has a MSDS, and the rules is “Read it Before You Need it!” Employers are required to keep a list of the chemicals that are stored and used in the workplace, and keep an MSDS on file for each chemical used. A chemical’s MSDS can provide crucial information in case of an emergency involving a chemical.
- State and Federally Required Posters: Each state’s requirements are different; therefore you should contact your state’s labor authority for what is required.
- *Emergency Evacuation Plan: This plan identifies what to do in the event of an emergency that requires the evacuation of the workplace. The plan should include emergency contact numbers, names of employess designated to manage and assist others, instructions on notifying personnel of the need to evacuate, including those that may be sight or hearing impaired, plans for assisting persons with disabilities or special needs, routes of egress, exit locations, fire extinguisher locations, and finally, where to meet outside of the workplace in order to account for personnel.
- *Emergency Action Plan: This plan provides employees with key information on what to do in case of a medical or other workplace emergency. Example: Employer contacts, local emergency numbers, local medical facility locations and contact numbers, where the first aid kits are located, who in the workplace is trained in first aid, post evacuation meeting locations, emergency equipment shut down instructions and other information specific to the workplace.
- Close Call, Hazard and Accident Reporting Procedures: This posting identifies the policies and procedures that must be following in the event of a close call, workplace hazard, injury or illness. Example: Who to report to, what forms or documents to use and other important steps to assure incidents are properly handled.
*Workplaces with 10 or fewer employees may only be required to have a verbal plan in place.
Written Workplace Safety Programs / Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program
- Each workplace is required to have written workplace safety programs specific to the hazards found in the particular workplace.
- An office environment will require only basic written programs that may include: Who is the responsible person for workplace safety, safety committee structure and responsibilities, program administrator information, workplace safety program policies and procedures, accident prevention, safety training, safety rules, forms, and the emergency plans previously listed.
- Workplaces with tasks involving hazardous activities, such as: industrial machinery and equipment, construction, medical professionals, hazardous chemicals, electrical, airborne contaminants, driving, agriculture and even violence in the workplace. These activities require further programs that are specific to the hazards and tasks of the workplace.
Safety Training and Documentation
- Each employer must provide every employee with safety training specific to their job tasks, in accordance to OSHA Standards and companies’ Written Safety Programs. This training must be conducted previous to the employee’s initial assignment and should be provided at least annually thereafter. All training should be documented in order to provide proof of the training.
This checklist is designed to assist employers in the Core aliments of a safety program. Each workplace is unique, having its own specific safety requirements. Contact OSHA or your local occupational safety authority to learn what is required in your specific workplace.
May 15, 2012
Author: Jary D Winstead
Work Safety Services, LLC.