Core Safety Product Checklist
by Jary D. Winstead
Providing a safe work environment, having a proactive workplace safety training program and being in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations is essential for every workplace, no matter what type of business and whether there is one employee or 25. Keep in mind these essential components of a workplace safety program.
First Aid Kits & Supplies
First aid kits, which typically include items like bandages, first aid cream, an instant cold pack, sterile alcohol pads, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, bandages, first aid cream, instant cold pack, scissors, tape, tweezers, triangular bandagesterile pads, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, exam gloves and antiseptic wipes, should be adequate for the number of employees and for treating the types of injuries that can be reasonably expected in your workplace. Your first aid kit should be easily accessible to all employees.
While you hope youll never need to, if there is an emergency, you want to be able to put out a fire at work. You need to have a fire-extinguishing agent on hand thats classified to meet the type of flammables and combustibles found in the workplace:
Multi-class fire extinguishers that are designed to extinguish more than one class of fire are available. ABC multi-class fire extinguishers (recommended) are designed to extinguish all three types of fires. Special classes of extinguishers for use with computers and exotic metals are also available. Fire extinguishers should be spaced in accordance with your state and local fire codes, as well as OSHA standards.
Emergency Exits, Doorways & Stairwells
Employees should know the preferred ways in and out of your building in case of an emergency. To ensure your teams safety, make sure you do the following:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
OSHA requires employers to complete PPE Hazard Assessments. This assessment is used to identify workplace hazards, find ways to eliminate or reduce exposures to the hazards and 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 of this equipment include:
Material Safety Data Sheets
Every chemical manufactured has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and the rule 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 chemicals MSDS can provide crucial information in case of an emergency involving the chemical.
Another aspect of keeping your employees safe is hanging signage around your place of business, including:
*Workplaces with 10 or fewer employees may only be required to have a verbal plan in place.
Written Workplace Safety Programs/Workplace Injury & Illness Prevention Program
Each workplace is required to have written workplace safety programs specific to the hazards found in the particular workplace.
Safety Training & Documentation
Each employer must provide every employee with safety training specific to their job tasks, in accordance with OSHA standards and the companys written safety programs. This training must be conducted previous to the employees initial assignment and should be provided at least annually thereafter. All training should be documented in order to provide proof of the training.
Know What Is Required
This checklist is designed to assist employers in the core elements of a safety program. Each workplace is unique, with its own specific safety requirements. Contact OSHA or your local occupational safety authority to learn whats required in your specific workplace.
Jary D. Winstead is an occupational safety consultant and the owner of Work Safety Service.
This article provides general information, and is not intended to provide personalized legal or medical advice; please consult with your own advisor and review local/state/federal regulatory guidelines and requirements if you have any questions.