Although the management and upkeep of safety staffing is demanding enough, the dynamic evolution of workplace practices and technological advancements further complicates the maintenance of an up-to-date safety staffing framework. Nonetheless, hazards don’t wait for us to catch up on policies and training procedures. That is why safety staffing maintenance is crucial to the production value of goods or services, regardless of the industry you operate in.
To mitigate workplace hazards effectively, it’s essential to anticipate and foresee potential dangers. Alas, it’s very difficult to predict potential dangers in an ever-evolving workplace. That is why understanding the history and future direction of safety staffing is crucial information.
The Origin and Development of Safety Staffing
Before the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, there were few workplace safety regulations to protect the workforce. While the Progressive Era and Gloucester Fishing Fleet incident helped start a movement for workers’ safety, it wasn’t until 1907, when 362 coal miners were killed at Monongah, W. Va., making it the largest mining disaster in American history, that the larger population started recognizing the true horrors of workplace hazards. Subsequently, the public kept a close watch on the nation’s employers and the treatment of their employees. From the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 to the Farmington Mine Disaster of 1968, more and more labor standards were implemented, including workers’ compensation, which eventually led to the implementation of federal authority on workers’ safety in 1970 with the OSH Act. The enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) had an enormous impact on cutting workplace fatalities by 60%, along with significantly decreasing workplace injuries and illnesses.
The Future of Safety Staffing Practices
Despite the noticeable changes in safety staffing within today’s workforce, there is still a significant amount of work to be accomplished. Alongside the new advancements in technology that benefit our workforce, we have also begun to see new hazards that present various risks to personal data and productivity.
Since the end of 2020 and the closing of the Information Age, the new era, known as the Age of Surveillance, has brought about new problems. With technology rapidly advancing, workplace practices evolve in tandem to keep pace. Due to this, we now see hazards and workplace risks that we haven’t even begun to fathom pop up throughout everyday operations.
While hybrid and remote jobs provide the modern-day workforce with multiple benefits, such as convenience and control over their daily lives, there are some hidden risks that employers must also be aware of. As remote work environments become more prominent, we start to see the lines of responsibility blur, making it more difficult for employers to determine what is under their liability. It’s speculated that the future of safety staffing will make an effort to address this issue by delegating responsibilities to prevent the ambiguity of incident liability. It’s also speculated that more technology will be utilized to increase the prevention of incidents that may not otherwise be detected. For example, artificial intelligence cameras are starting to be used to detect unsafe work practices by analyzing worker’s movements.
Maintaining Compliance With Up-to-Date Safety Practices
As technology has evolved workplace practices at an ever-increasing speed, employers are now required to think outside the box to stay up-to-date with safety staffing. Fortunately, three key elements will help your organization stay compliant and consistent.
While this may seem apparent to some and less so to others, embedding a thorough comprehension of OSHA standards as a core workplace value is paramount for ensuring compliance. After all, only after employers fully understand those rules themselves can they effectively enforce them.
Here are a few examples of OSHA standards that employers are responsible for:
- Providing fall protection to workers
- Preventing trenching cave-ins
- Preventing exposure to some infectious diseases
- Ensuring the safety of workers who enter confined spaces
- Preventing exposure to harmful chemicals
- Putting guards on dangerous machines
- Providing respirators or other safety equipment
- Providing training for certain dangerous jobs in a language and vocabulary the workers can understand
If you are an employer looking to maintain OSHA compliance, you can reach out to a safety staffing consultant who will provide insight into your organization’s unique operations after performing a thorough evaluation.
Another way to maintain compliance and stay ahead of incidents is by keeping detailed records of incidents and procedures. These records will help employers analyze incident patterns and make mitigation decisions easier.
As OSHA begins to implement new requirements on certain establishments for electronic incident tracking, employers are encouraged to migrate their records to an electronic database where physical damage no longer poses a risk.
It’s essential for employers to keep detailed records and regularly conduct audits and surveys on daily operations. By consistently performing mock OSHA audits, employers can identify their strengths and weaknesses in preparation for the actual audit, ensuring they stay ahead in safety staffing.
Last but not least, it is vital to stay informed. By keeping up to date with government mandates, providing consistent onsite safety training, understanding the technology that’s utilized, and putting up OSHA posters around the workplace, your employees will be reminded to put their safety first and prevent incidents from occurring.
Stay Ahead By Elevating Your Safety Standards With Summit Safety
In the dynamic landscape of safety staffing, staying ahead is imperative for any company committed to a secure and compliant workplace. With Summit Safety, your company can ensure a proactive approach to risk management. Summit Safety not only provides access to up-to-date safety knowledge but also offers customized solutions tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Through this proactive partnership, you can achieve a heightened level of preparedness, compliance, and, ultimately, a safer work environment. Contact Us or call (417) 823-7233 and stay ahead and secure with Summit Safety as your trusted safety companion.