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Safety First Requires Action

Safety and the health of employees remain core tenets of facility management. As part of this responsibility, facility managers must ensure that their buildings and employees adhere to the standards enforced by OSHA. Nearly 60 members and guests learned more about OSHA’s mission, resources and regulations during the OSHA Updates program on Jan. 15 at L. Keeley Construction.

Bill McDonald, CSP, Area Director of the OSHA St. Louis Area Office, provided an in-depth overview of the agency’s outreach, training, compliance assistance and enforcement efforts. Besides updating attendees, Bill stressed the importance of safety prevention by establishing an action plan.

An action plan should look at several factors:

  • Identifying top problem areas.
  • Talking with employees to pinpoint improvements.
  • Taking action steps to address key areas.
  • Setting goals and using leading indicators to reach those goals.
  • Collecting and monitoring safety data.
  • And using leading indicators to improve overall safety.

OSHA also is working diligently to help companies comply with its rules. This includes an emphasis on making the agency’s materials more user friendly and in language understood by workers. OSHA also offers on-site consultation for free to provide guidance on improving safety and health within the workplace.

Other programs expand the agency’s focus on health and safety, including Voluntary Protection Programs, a Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA Challenge and specialized campaigns targeted at high-risk industries such as agriculture, construction and . Bill outlined several areas to help prevent suicide and workplace violence. The agency provides a wealth of resources as well, through its printed publications and on its website.

The program included a review of new regulations and several rules still in initial stages or the discussion stage.

Many thanks to L. Keeley Construction for hosting this informative program.