Many small business owners, especially those with only a few employees, are unaware that they must follow the same health and safety regulations as larger companies. Failure to understand and follow the rules concerning the safety and health of employees can lead to fines from government officials and lawsuits from injured employees for compensation. An employee incurring an injury can file a complaint with the courts to receive money to pay for medical and daily living expenses.
Display Regulation Government Posters
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require that certain posters are displayed in easy to see areas of a workplace. Most business owners place these posters in employee break rooms or near time clock stations. In addition, each state may require posters too that provide information concerning who to contact for violations of safety codes. Government officials may inspect periodically to verify the posters are in place and other regulations are followed.
Have Employee Training Meetings
When hiring new employees, a small business owner is required to train the person in proper safety and health practices. Employees should receive complete training in using equipment such as cooking or manufacturing equipment. A risk management specialist with a Master’s degree in safety says this training should be updated regularly to ensure that all employees have the information they need to avoid accidents and injuries. Following sanitation regulations such as washing hands and wearing hairnets during food preparation is also necessary to meet health code standards.
Maintain Accurate Daily Records
Business owners must maintain a record of injury incidences in a workplace to supply to authorities but also as protection from lawsuits. Records are necessary concerning the maintenance of all equipment along with the manufacturer’s name and address. This information is essential when an employee is injured to avoid lawsuits due to faulty equipment. In addition, if an employee is injured, then certain protocols along with documentation is necessary to confirm that medical protocols were followed to prevent financial losses from lawsuits.
Observation and Inspections
Routinely inspecting the workplace’s environment is vital to find problems that require repair. Everything inside the business needs an inspection, including lighting on the ceilings, tiles on the floor and plumbing fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms. Exterior structures are also the responsibility of small business owners to prevent problems such as crumbling rooftops or dangerous parking areas. Business owners should also observe employees as they work to verify that safety and health regulations are followed. When infractions by employees are noticed, immediate action is necessary to remedy the situation.
A small business owner must deduct withholding taxes from their employees’ paychecks to help pay for workers’ compensation. The laws for workers’ compensation vary in each state with the federal government also having control over this program. If an employee is injured or killed while on-the-job, money is available to help cover lost wages and medical bills. This program helps to prevent lawsuits for financial compensation from employees and family survivors.