If you’re running an agribusiness, you probably rely on a few key people for their expert opinion or advice, like your vet or crop specialist. Now that you’ve decided to ramp up the operation’s ag safety program, you might be looking to expand that list of trusted advisers to include a safety director or safety consultant.
Ultimately, hiring a safety director depends on your operation and what you feel you need to mitigate risk. Although, if meeting OSHA compliance is your primary concern, a little study time and the right training tools can typically take you where you need to be. In either case, however, it’s essential that you have at least one employee (even if it’s you) dedicated to managing your workplace safety program who makes it an ongoing priority.
Here are two fundamental reasons why.
1. Workplace Safety Needs Clear Communication
With a single point person in charge of safety, all program information is funneled through this one source who will provide a clear, consistent message to employees. This go-to safety coordinator will communicate the rules that need to be followed, what OSHA training to complete and how to report an incident. In emergency situations, or if they have a safety question or concern, employees will know exactly the right person to contact.
The safety coordinator will also dig into OSHA rules and regulations, update your policies and procedures whenever there are changes and file the appropriate reports. They will know what equipment or situations require permits, such as working in confined spaces, and what routine tasks OSHA expects farms to complete, like inspecting fire extinguishers. Taking care of these activities ensures the safety of your employees and anyone working at your facility, while also saving you from expensive fines (i.e. $5,000 for every missing or uninspected fire extinguisher) during an OSHA inspection.
2. OSHA Inspections Don’t Have to Be Nerve-Wracking
And the second reason is you and your employees deserve a point person dedicated to everyone's safety in your business and their workplace.
Check back next week, when we’ll talk about OSHA inspections. In the meantime, download Is Your Farm Ready for an OSHA Inspection?—a free ebook from Good Day’s Work—to learn more about what happens when OSHA stops at your operation.