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OSHA Safety and Compliance

Fact: OSHA provides training free, yet funeral homes are fined every week for not doing their requirements.

I would contend that most funeral directors are unconsciously unaware of OSHA requirements. In the safety business, it is sometimes referred to as the Helen Keller syndrome. It suggests that employers and managers have no desire to know what works, see how anything works, or even discuss it.

Typical here is the manager who only wants to know enough about safety and accident prevention to be able to get by an OSHA inspection. God forbid that he actually learn how to implement safe operating procedures that would prevent accidents and make the workplace safer for everyone.

How Does Our Exposure to Formalin Compare to Workers in Other Industries - OPED

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) compared the number of workers with specific chemical exposure between various industries. For example, it compares how many Registered Nurses are exposed to formalin with how many Funeral Directors are exposed. In that case, there are twenty times as many nurses exposed as there are funeral directors. No determination is mate regarding the amount or duration of the exposure.

About OSHA, some things you can and cannot do

Most OSHA standards are performance oriented. This is a method that allows OSHA to speak in broad generalities when drawing up requirements for employers (ie: funeral homes). The employer has the duty to develop a program that adheres to those guidelines and the freedom to ensure that it fits their specific workplace.

Every year, OSHA releases new interpretations that remind consultants just how much authority and freedom the employer has in operating a safety program. These are summaries of questions that were sent to OSHA by employers, followed by the official OSHA response.

Most businesses reject free model program from OSHA

It was 1955 in the summer of a hot Texas drought. My dad had decided to build a stock tank on his farm. There were government programs available that would pay for half of the project. The only rule was that you had to build it their way. He studied both approaches and opted to build the stock tank his way and with his own money. Over 50 years later, that ten acre stock tank is still full of water (and some large Bass), while government tanks built in that era have long since dried up.

How OSHA computes penalties

Three employers are inspected by OSHA and are all written up for the same citation. The first receives a $200 fine. The second is fined $1200. The third establishment is assessed a $4000 fine. While it may look like each of these inspections was handled in a different manner, be assured this is not the case. Instead, they are the product of a system that gives nuance to some businesses and, by design, punishes others.

The adjustment process is determined by four factors:

The gravity of the violation,

The size of the business,

OSHA employee training - Instructor certification?

OSHA generally sets broad goals and objectives. They provide very few specifics on how to get there. In the workplace, you will find programs that are virtually impossible to follow and others that are very simple. I subscribe to the "Keep It Simple Stupid?" concept. My goal is to show you how to eliminate as much of the "red tape" as possible while, at the same time, ensuring that the workplace is in compliance with OSHA.

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