Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) online resources on safety compliance provide employees with the necessary information to comply with OSHA requirements. The online resources also help workers understand OSHA requirements and cooperative programs. Creating healthy and safe workplaces is a fundamental objective of OSHA online resources (Occupational Health and Safety, n. d.).
In addition OSHA online resources provide Industry-Specific Resources which are tailored for specific industries such as
– Agriculture and forestry
– Health Care
– Retail and wholesale Business
– Transportation and Warehousing
According to American Industrial Hygiene Association (2012), there is a need for OSHA. OSHA remains the best positioned federal agency to address workplace health and safety. In addition, OSHA should also have top authority over all workplace health and safety issues. This is because overlapping government authorities make compliance difficult and create confusion. OSHA should cover all workers irrespective of whether they work in the private or public sector.
OSHA offers educational programs and training courses to assist in broadening knowledge in identification and avoidance of health and safety hazards in the workplace. This knowledge is targeted for workers and employees alike. In addition, OSHA also gives educational and training materials that help organizations train workers while complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Occupational Health and Safety, n. d.).
The OSHA online resources reference educational programs, training courses, and training resources, which are given by the OSHA directorate.
The OSHA Act directs that employers are in charge of providing a work environment that is safe and healthful. The OSHA online resource directs that workplaces should be in-keeping with OSHA’s mission. The mission is to ensure that workplaces are safe and healthful. The mission statement further explains that this can be done by placing and enforcing standards while providing outreach, training, education and assistance.
The OSHA website provides links to a lot of information and resources that are designed for small businesses. These include publications, health and safety tools, guides to OSHA standards and descriptions of the benefits that small businesses can acquire from OSHA.
The page contains more details on OSHA’s enforcement activities. A toll free number is availed for those who wish to seek further clarification. An email is also provided.
Other notable features of the OSHA online resources include an Online Consultation Program that is free. According to Occupational Health and Safety (n. d.), in 2012, the OSHA website received over 205 million visits while 213, 283 calls were made to OSHA’s 800 number. Additionally, 32, 906 questions were submitted via email. In 2012, OSHA saw 689, 779 students taught through its Outreach Training Program. This evidence shows that OSHA’s online resources are widely used and needed.
The safety profession focuses on preventing harm to people, assets and the environment. Disciplines applied in the safety profession include education, engineering, psychology, hygiene, physiology, enforcement, physics, health and management. Safety professionals employ appropriate techniques and methods in loss prevention and control. These methods and techniques make up “ Safety Science.” According to the Society of Safety Engineers Foundation and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, (2007), “ Safety Science” is made up of knowledge areas such as listed below
– Chemistry and biology: Gives insights on hazardous substances
– Ergonomics: Provides insights on human performance limits and aids in design for safety and performance improvement.
– Physics: Provides knowledge on electricity, heat, harmful radiations and other energy forms
– Environmental sciences: Provides knowledge on pollution sources and mitigation measures
– Biomechanics, physiology and medicine: Provides understanding about injury and illness mechanisms and measures of prevention.
– Psychology: Provides human behavior information.
– Engineering, economics, business management and sociology: Provides knowledge for improvement of safety and performance.
Safety professionals provide technical help in identifying, assessing and controlling hazards. They have varying specific activities and roles depending on their experience, area of specialization, education and workplace. However, most safety professionals fit into either of the following categories of work.
– Hazard recognition: Involves identifying action or conditions that are potential causes for, illness, injury or property damage.
– Fire protection: Involves reducing fire hazards through inspection, proper facility layout as well as design of fire detectors and suppressors.
– Inspection/ audits: This involves safety and health risk assessments regarding materials, equipment, processes, abilities or facilities.
– Regulatory compliance: involves making sure that health and safety standards are satisfied.
– Ergonomics: This involves ensuring that human psychological and physiological limitations, characteristics and abilities are considered in the design of the workplace.
– Health hazard control: this involves the control or elimination of safety and health hazards like radiation, noise, chemical exposure or biological hazards.
– Hazardous materials management: involves ensuring that harmful chemicals and other substances are handled in a manner that prevents fires and exposure to harm.
– Training: involves providing managers and other employees with skills and knowledge on how to work while recognizing hazards and preventing harm or injury.
– Environmental protection: entails controlling hazards that may cause undesirable environmental pollution.
– Accidents and investigations: Involves determining facts regarding an accident based in inspection, witness interviews and evidence collection.
– Record keeping: Involves proper arrangement and maintenance of safety and health records.
– Advising management: Involves helping managers plan programs and establish safety objectives.
– Evaluation: This involves judging the existing health and safety programs and their effectiveness.
– Emergency response: involves organizing, training and leading skilled employees regarding audio-visual communications relating to emergencies.
– Managing safety programs: Involves planning, budgeting, organizing and monitoring safety objectives in an organization.
– Product safety: Involves assessing likelihood that a product, when exposed to various elements, will become a health hazard.
– Security: Involves discovering and implementing design characteristics and guidelines to protect property from hazardous threats.
Wherever risks to people, assets or the environment exist, one can expect to find safety professionals. The place of work for any safety professional is determined by their experience, area of specialization and education. Safety professionals may work in a number of places like transportation, consulting, construction, government, insurance, petrochemical, utilities and communication as well as manufacturing and production.
According to Johnson (2012), current trends indicate that occupational health and safety jobs will exceed the number of skilled professionals in this area. The Society of Safety Engineers Foundation and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, (2007), point out that technological advancement and public expectations are likely to fuel the need for safety professionals. The future is, therefore, bright for students hoping to pursue this line of work. It is, however, important to note that career paths in safety will depend on a person’s education level, ambition as well as skills and certifications. Salaries range from $30, 000 to $150, 000 for professionals in this area. A survey conducted by Safety+Health in 2012 on health and safety professionals showed that eighty-seven percent of respondents considered their job “ very stable” or “ comparatively stable” (Johnson, 2012).
The safety profession is challenging but exciting as well. This question entails a lot of self examination and evaluation regarding personal attributes and skills. This is because the profession requires people who have good leadership and people skills. This means that the safety professionals interact with many people while performing their work.
Adrian Hertog is the safety professional I identify with the most because he spent his whole career in safety. He is a natural leader who has risen to management level due to his dedication to safety issues. He acknowledges that investment of time and effort in creating and implementing safety protocols helps to reduce injuries and accidents. His active involvement with safety operations at local and national level makes him a distinguished role model for aspiring safety professionals.
American Industrial Hygiene Association. (2012). Perspective on the Role of the OccupationalSafety and Health Administration In Advancing Occupational Safety and Health for theNation. American Industrial Hygiene Association, (1). Retrieved February 28, 2013, fromhttp://www. aiha. org/news-pubs/govtaffairs/Documents/COMPLETE_whitepaper. pdf
Johnson, A. (2012). Job Outlook for safety professionals 2012. National Safety Council. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from
http://www. nsc. org/safetyhealth/Pages/812-Job Outlook2012. aspx#. UPp0EFJHDCM
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (n. d.). Directorate of Cooperative and StatePrograms | Compliance Assistance/Outreach. Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration-Home. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://www. osha. gov
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n. d.). Industry-Specific Resources. Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Home. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://www. osha. gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/industry. html
Society of Safety Engineers Foundation and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, (2007). Career Guide to the Safety Profession. Career Guide to the Safety Profession, 3(1), 3-20.