When Congress enacted OSHA it created a cumbersome snarl of workplace regulations.
It also drastically made sure workers of every stripe had a better chance of getting home to their families every night. These regulations are vital for any business to follow to ensure employee safety and to avoid lawsuits and enforcement headaches.
While the regulations themselves are can be difficult to parse in order to comply with them, there are abundant resources available to help make implementation as easy as possible and to keep compliance costs down.
This OSHA resource guide aims to be the most comprehensive free guide available and do the legwork of making complying with OSHA as easily as possible. It includes a wide range of resources.
While going directly to the Code of Federal Regulation or the United States Code is something even labor lawyers avoid, the federal government is always striving to find ways that make OSHA regulations easier to understand and comply with.
These sources give you the information straight from the horse’s mouth, and in ways you can easily understand.
OSHA itself has produced hundreds and hundreds of OSHA training manuals, guidelines, and reference materials to make regulations more accessible, including a virtual library of industry and subject-specific guidance.
OSHA compliance doesn’t have to be about scary enforcement proceedings. OSHA offers employers many kinds of free assistance program to help them get on the right side of workplace safety.
While not pleasant, sometimes there’s no replacement for drilling down into the regs themselves to ensure compliance. Thankfully, the Department of Labor has nicely laid out the regulations by industry here.
Ironically, the statutes that created OSHA don’t create the actual regulations; that was left to administrative agencies.
Congress’ legislation mostly allows for regulations to be made and sets up processes and procedures. Nonetheless, the statutes themselves may contain important information.
While the government offers ample resources, it may be easier to understand your OSHA requirements from people in the field who work on implementing these laws day in and day out.
The National Safety Council, a non profit organization, works independently from OSHA to promote safety throughout the country. They also work with OSHA to ensure safety specifically in the work place.
Business and Legal Resources, or BLR, specializes in all kinds of legal compliance, including a wealth of free legal resources regarding OSHA compliance. They also offer award-winning legal products.
Though mostly behind a paywall, HR360 has compiled a great deal of information regarding OSHA implementation specifically for human resource professionals.
The Department of Labor and OSHA itself often partners with dozens professional organizations to promote worker safety.
While many employers treat OSHA as just another intrusive government headache, workers realize these regulations can literally be life or death. These tools will help you keep yourself safe, even if management doesn’t want to.
Though OSHA regulations can feel like a hassle for labor too, workers should feel like OSHA is largely on their side, and they offer workers plenty of online assistance to help ensure their jobsites are safe.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to take safety into your own hands and file a complaint. OSHA now has an easy online complaint process for workers to file complaints, which includes whistleblower protections.
Nolo.com offers a wealth of OSHA safety information and Includes a chat service to help you get answers right away.
Let’s face it: reading professional resources, whether from the government or the private sector, can become dull in a hurry. These more informal blogs take a more relaxed approach to helping people understand their duties under OSHA.
Jackson Lewis, a respected New York Law firm with over 700 lawyers, regularly updates this informative blog on all the latest developments on OSHA.
Aside from their OSHA training products, OSHAtraining.com offers a free blog of topical issues.
Another large national law firm, BakerHostetler out of Cleveland also runs a free OSHA law blog chronicling updates to OSHA.
Noticing a pattern? While the regulations can feel cumbersome, OSHA is committed to creating plenty of content to help, including this occasionally updated blog.
Message Boards and Forums
Odds are, if you have a specific question, somebody else has run into it before.
They may have spent hours researching online to try and find the answer and come up dry. Thankfully, there are message boards where people can ask questions and get other people in the field to answer.
If you’re lucky, somebody’s already asked the question and someone else has already answered. If not, you can ask yourself and potentially receive an answer in hours.
HSE Press, a professional workplace safety group, offers a workplace safety message board populated by safety exports and others subject to OSHA compliance.
Topix, which hosts message boards on virtually every subject, also maintains an OSHA forum.
Figuring out how to comply with OSHA takes time, and with new regulations coming out every year, it’s hard to keep up. If you’re going to have to spend time and money making sure your business is compliant, you may as well sneak in a working vacation and attend a conference.
BLR (see above) hosts an annual safety conference, next year in Orlando, to offer live OSHA related programming.
For over 30 years, Safety In Action has brought together companies focused on maintaining the safest workplace possible.
For a little international flair, head to Toronto next October to get a global perspective on workplace safety.
Health & Safety Publications
Publications Regulations change regularly, and best practices are always continuing to develop and morph. One great way to keep up to date on all the latest is a good workplace safety periodical.
The National Safety Council offers a monthly print and online magazine dedicated to health and safety.
This magazine is not from OSHA itself, and has been promoting workplace safety for over 85 years.
This magazine offer not only free print subscriptions within the continental U.S., it also offers a conference, product recommendations and a hole host of workplace safety product.
The magazine on Environment, Health and Safety is a broad safety magazine that also includes updates on OSHA and federal regulations.
If OSHA releases a new regulation about trees falling in the woods and nobody hears it, can you still be held liable?
Of course you can.
You can augment your professional efforts to stay OSHA compliant by adding these accounts to your social media feeds.
OSHA itself has a twitter feed offering topical tweets on workplace safety.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also offers quick hit help via Twitter.
The OSHA Education Center, a regional OSHA authorized assistance provider, also offers tips and tidbits 140 characters at a time.
It’s impossible to be perfect at workplace safety, but occasionally the missteps of others lightens the guilt of our own shortcomings.
Check out OSHA Is This OK? on Facebook, Instagram and as an independent hashtag next time your own compliance efforts get the better of you.
Follow Bruce Rolfson, Bloomberg’s dedicated OSHA and workplace safety reporter, one of the only such reporters in the country.
This independent Twitter feed also offers compliance assistance one tweet at a time.
It can be hard to find time in the day to check in on OSHA and get all of the latest safety tips. Subscribing to these podcasts allows you to get the latest on OSHA while at work, driving, or anyplace else you may be.
This regular and free podcast offers the latest on safety compliance from OSHA consultant Blaine Hoffman.
Also from a professional safety consulting group, Spot On Safety is produced by iWorkWise and offers an extensive catalog of podcasts.
National Public Radio also offers a catalog of stores about OSHA.