Did you know that an average of 13 Americans die each day from work-related incidents? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that “…tens of thousands die every year from workplace disease and nearly 4 million workers each year are seriously injured on the job.” Good employers strive to move these numbers down to zero, and the first step to do so is to make sure employees work in a safe facility.
Anyone who works in a lab is no stranger to safety procedures to keep both themselves and their co-workers safe. Of course, it is crucial for employers to know these procedures and make sure their employees have access to any safety items they may need.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) have guidelines set out for employers to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees:
- Employers are required to identify and fix any safety hazards. These could be physical or health related.
- Employers need to change the work environment first before requiring employees to change their level of protective gear. This includes items such as goggles, masks, and gloves.
- Employers must be aware of building features such as ventilation to make sure no dangerous fumes become trapped and harm their employees.
It is also the responsibility of both the employer and the staffing agency to provide the same safe conditions to temporary employees as the employer provides to the full-time employees. OSHA holds both parties accountable in the event of a safety violation, which includes improper training of the safety procedures in the lab. Keep in mind:
- Staffing agencies must keep an eye on their workers’ conditions to make sure they are not at risk of harm, especially in a lab setting.
- Staffing agencies do not need to be experts on safety procedures, but they should make a note of what conditions are present at the place of work.
- Host employers should treat temporary employees the same way as they do full-time employees when it comes to safety training and working conditions.
- Just because an employer does not know about a hazard, that does not mean it does not exist. This is not an excuse!
You can find more information on specific health concerns and safety violations at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration page.
How We Can Help
At LCS Constructors, we can provide a safe, well-ventilated lab space for you and your employees. We understand the safety challenges that can arise with constructing a new lab or modifying one currently in use. If you are an employer, we know you will be stressed when it comes to the risks you face. That’s why we are happy to help you for the duration of this project.
Facility owners can work with contractors to distribute safety practices and policies to the employees. We have safety officers, safety education programs, and hold safety meetings weekly.With these practices, we are confident that your employees will be prepared to work on the job site feeling assured that they are safe and their work can be productive.