If you’ve followed over from my LinkedIn post, see the first of the Top 10 OSHA compliance mistakes made and lessons learned below….  And thanks for reading.

Dual Tasking An Existing Manager With OSHA Compliance Duties

Once I committed to implementing an OSHA compliance program, I quickly realized that I lacked the time, and knowledge to do it all on my own. I was always involved and active but needed help, so decided to delegate these responsibilities to my operations manager at the time. Being new to the company, he was eager to please and assured me that he “knew about safety” and would be happy to help out. Several weeks, and then months, soon passed and I began to wonder why he wasn’t making progress. Questions like “Where’s our updated safety manual?” “When and how are we going to train our new technicians?” were routinely met with delayed, or no responses at all, and when pressed he always told me “sorry, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, we’re too busy.” After hearing this a few times, I began to realize he was right. I couldn’t realistically expect him to execute and manage all of the customer workload, while at the same time magically finding time to implement our OSHA compliance program.

I’ve found this to be a very, very common mistake, especially among small companies, regardless of the industry, and that is trying to dual task an Operations, Production, HR or even a maintenance manager with health and safety compliance.

There are 3 problems with this model: 1) the manager probably lacks the technical knowledge and experience required to implement a compliant program, and 2) even if they did have the ability, they don’t have the time to get it done because they’re primary role with the company plays a major role in contributing to the companies’ bottom line (getting widgets out the door, recruiting new staff, repairing equipment, etc..). A 3rd problem can arise when assigning safety compliance to an Operations or Production manager, and that’s the inherent conflict of interests between production and safety (ie: good safety practices are often inconvenient, time consuming and expensive, and this nasty combination can get in the way of “getting things done”)

The end result is that health & safety never gets adequately addressed and the company persists in a dangerous state of non-compliance.   This ends up putting employees at risk for serious injuries and even fatalities, and the company at risk for major OSHA fines and penalties as well as civil, criminal, reputational and other related risks.

Check back to the blog to learn about my other top 10 OSHA compliance mistakes and lessons learned….

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