After many years in the making, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 has finally received a much needed overhaul. The most important additions include provisions for providing arc flash assessments and requirements for flame resistant clothing to all appropriate personnel.
Sure, just one more regulation change in the never-ending bombardment of rules and guidelines for businesses to follow. No big deal, right? Wrong.
Staying on the good side of OSHA is imperative to the solvency and success of any industry. Here are a few friendly reminders of what can happen when a business doesn’t comply with OSHA regulations.
Here’s an example that’s extremely relevant to FR clothing. Remember BP’s 2005 refinery fire? That disheartening disaster killed 15 workers and injured 170 more. Beyond the awful loss of life inflicted that day, there were quite a few financial ramifications for all of the families and the company itself. Quite aside from undoubtedly astronomical litigation fees, there were also the massive OSHA fines that came down on BP’s head.
That incident alone earned them $87 million worth of fines! Just months before that, $21 million in hazard fines were levied against BP. And they’ve gone on to rack up more than $60 million since. Collateral aside, that’s nearly $200 million paid to OSHA due to violations of safety regulations.
Have no doubt: OSHA isn’t shy about leveling fines and for good reason: the regulations they impose provide invaluable protection for employees and employers alike. It’s best to stay on their good side as much as possible.
There are two points to make here. First, thumbing your nose at OSHA is never a good business strategy. It’s a lot like getting audited. Once you’re on their radar, the opportunities to scrutinize your business are practically limitless. That means unlimited access to your facilities and confidential interviews with your workforce.
Which leads to the second bit of ill will – your relationship with your workers. Being interviewed by an OSHA representative isn’t a good endorsement of your benevolence.
Continue being one of the good guys. Keep your workers safe and abide by these regulations.
If all that doesn’t convince you, consider your reputation with your customers. OSHA has no qualms writing press releases about companies that fail their standards. They’re practically an independent news service.
Doing the right thing by keeping your business and workers safe means you are ultimately credible in the minds of your consumers. And everyone would much rather give support to credible organizations than those that skirt the regulations.
No matter how you slice it, ignoring OSHA regulations is simply a bad practice. So don’t falter now. Visit us here at Workrite. We’ve been an authority in the FR clothing game for more than 40 years.