Tuesday, September 9, 2008

OSHA and Leadership

Originally uploaded by volcanojw

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov

Interesting organization that typically strikes fear in the hearts of many manufacturing leaders. This is because there are many skeletons in the closet of most organizations. Things that managers know they should do something about, but continue not to do those things....important things....because "it costs too much," or "no one has gotten hurt on that thing in a long time," or my personal favorite "there's too many social issues surrounding that safety improvement."

The fact of the matter is, if you're waiting to do the right thing until after OSHA inspects, you're wrong. A leader puts the safety of his people ahead of everything else. A leader says if you can't do it safely, don't do it at all.

Too many times, as in the case of a recent death of a worker in a G%#dye$r chemical factory, problems that everyone knew existed, like not practicing emergency evacuations or having an accountability system where all the noses are touched and counted before saying "all present and accounted for," never get corrected until it's too late.

I for one won't tolerate it. Will you?

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