June 2008 Safety Tip
Compliance - OSHA's requirements
Recently, Maricopa County was subject to an Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH - State's equivalent of the US Dept. of Labor's Occupational Administration or OSHA) Safety and Health) inspection. The results of the inspection found several items were found to be in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This month's Safety Tip, Compliance - OSHA's requirements, is based on Maricopa County's Safety and Liability Policies - A2200 and the OSH Act. Each set of documents require that both the employer AND the employee follow guidance to establish and maintain a safe working environment. Both also recognized that there are many situations where specific training would be required in order reach this goal.

THE OSH Act's General Duty Clause requires an employer to take certain physical measures to provide a safe work environment. This implies that the employer is responsible for plan review prior to and during construction of new facilities and work area modifications, plus periodic review of existing facilities to insure compliance with the regulations. These regulations require that employers mitigate potential and actual hazards by removing the hazard, using engineering controls to prevent access to the hazardous area, or by developing a protocol that allows work to occur because the hazard cannot be removed or controlled. Maricopa County can proud of the fact that despite having received several violations and some fines, overall, there were few issues found.

OSHA has understood that the length and complexity of its various standards could make it difficult to find references for all required training. Therefore, in an effort to help employers, safety and health professionals, training managers, and others with a need to know, OSHA compiled the various training requirements into its publication, "Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines," OSHA publication OSHA 2254. OSHA did not include information such as information posting, warning signs, or labels, as well as references to qualifications of persons who test workplace conditions or equipment.

The bottom line is that the County and its 15,000+ employees are working together to make this a SAFE place to work, a difficult task considering the size and variety of operations. Management is making efforts to correct the deficiencies by working with ADOSH, outside industrial hygiene consultants, building contractors. And employees are requesting more and better training.

Maricopa County employees can contact the Safety Office at 602-506-8601 for more specific information. Other readers with questions concerning workpalce safety and/or worker training should contact their OSHA regional (Region 9 for Arizona) or area office (may be a State office (ADOSH in Arizona)) for more information. In most cases, consultation is free.

Return to List of Past Safety Tips  Disclaimer: Please refer to statement at top of Past Safety Tips list.