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Don’t Be Afraid Of Compliance!

If your business operates in the industrial sector, you're probably familiar with the acronym OSHA. But do you truly understand what OSHA is and what they do? Some think OSHA is the boogeyman, always lurking around the next corner, waiting to catch you making a mistake.

Remember, knowledge dispels fear, so let's get informed.



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for ensuring worker health and safety in the United States. It was created by Congress in 1971 following the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Its goal is to enforce workplace laws and standards and provide training, outreach, education, and assistance to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for workers. In 1970, there were 14,000 worker deaths and 2.5 million disabled workers in the United States. By 2017, the number of worker deaths had decreased to 5,000, despite the workforce almost doubling. When adjusted for workforce growth, this represents a nearly 80% reduction in workplace deaths. Additionally, recordable instances have dropped from 10.9 per 100 workers in 1970 to 2.8 per 100 workers in 2017.


OSHA Coverage:

OSHA covers most private-sector employers and their workers, including those in construction, logging, manufacturing, and other non-public workplaces. The agency also oversees some public sector employers and their workers through state OSHA agencies. However, self-employed workers and immediate members of farm families who do not employ non-family workers are not covered by OSHA. OSHA regulations apply in all U.S. states, territories, and jurisdictions. Some states have their own occupational safety and health programs approved by the federal government, called state plans. These state plans must have regulations as strict as federal OSHA regulations, but they can also enforce stricter rules if they choose to do so.


OSHA Standards:

OSHA determines the standards and requirements that apply to workplace environments and ensures that employers adhere to them. OSHA sets these standards based on research and input from subject matter experts and other stakeholders. To assist employers in following these standards, OSHA provides training and consultation to educate employers and employees. OSHA explains the procedures, equipment, and training that employers and workers must use to reduce hazards and ensure safety measures specific to the workplace and workers' jobs.


OSHA Enforcement:

OSHA is responsible for enforcing workplace safety regulations and can issue significant fines for violations. Recently, Dollar General was cited for multiple violations, facing proposed penalties totaling over $1.6 million. OSHA also took significant action against B.P. Products of North America Inc. following a 2005 incident, resulting in proposed penalties of $87.4 million.


OSHA Compliance:

In order to comply with OSHA requirements, employers must take specific actions, including inspecting the workplace for potential hazards, eliminating or minimizing hazards, keeping records of workplace injuries and illness, training employees to recognize safety and health hazards, and educating employees on precautions to prevent accidents. OSHA also requires employees to comply with safety regulations, wear required protective equipment, report hazardous conditions, and report job-related injuries and illnesses. Additionally, OSHA protects employees by providing certain rights, such as the right to request inspections, refuse dangerous work conditions, and report violations without retaliation.


Why you need OSHA's help:

Even though OSHA has the authority to regulate and even penalize, they are not the enemy. We all want our team members to return home safe and sound, and OSHA shares this goal. As a result, OSHA provides free and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories. Priority is given to high-hazard worksites. The On-Site Consultation services are completely separate from enforcement and do not lead to penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities collaborate with employers to identify workplace hazards, offer suggestions for complying with OSHA standards, and help in developing and enhancing safety and health programs.



Make sure to utilize the tools provided by OSHA. If you need further assistance with identifying and addressing any issues, feel free to get in touch with DataFit. With over 25 years of experience in ergonomics and injury reduction, we are well-equipped to help you pinpoint and resolve the problems.

In case you've already addressed the ergonomics issues but are still experiencing injuries, there might be issues with the hiring process. We can also assist with that. Allow us to demonstrate how a legally sound New-Hire Physical Capability Assessment Program can help you place the right individuals in the right positions and potentially reduce your workers’ compensation costs by as much as 67%.

About the author

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP has over 25+ years of experience in the medical, health, wellness, and professional sports industries. Clinician turned business developer, Philip is a sought-after industry speaker and professional consultant. His ground-breaking work in injury prevention, paired with the science of human movement, has put him at the forefront of product development with a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physiology, biomechanics, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven research.