By Eric Amaro, Director of Health & Safety
We’ve all seen it, especially as kids. You compact together a bunch of snow in your tiny mittened hands. Run to the top of the hill where you add more snow around it, and then you push that tiny ball down the hill and watch it roll. All the sudden that little ball picks up steam as it gets bigger…and bigger…and bigger. You watched amazed as it now tramples over rocks, bushes and small trees. You learn very early on what it’s like for something so small to turn into something very big and powerful. Now let’s apply that to the world of compliance…this should be fun right?
In March of 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), established what they referred to as “guidelines” for preparing workplaces for infectious diseases. Now, I don’t know about you, but when that many acronyms get together and put their thinking caps on to establish “guidelines,” I can see myself as that small kid, standing a top that hill with that tiny snowball.
Now the official word from OSHA on the guidelines is this;
“This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.”
Now if you’re not familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Act it states this;
“The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a) (1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”
So, look at the “guidance” as the tiny snowball. Roll that tiny snowball down the hill and view it now in the world of compliance. You can see it can’t you? Picking up regulations and sections of laws just before it comes to a crashing halt at the doors of your business. Now as a business owner, what do you do? Well, you do what you’ve always done…prepare!
The good news is if you already have an infectious disease plan for your business you’re ahead of the curve. Bad news is whether you do or don’t the “guidance’s,” regulations and yes laws, are changing constantly. This is where DSA HR Solutions comes in. We have years of experience keeping snowballs under control.
If you need assistance in complying with any OSHA regulations or any other HR matter please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 361-5385.
We are a team of certified HR experts based out of the San Francisco Bay Area that provides HR consulting services to businesses nationwide.