Regulatory in the United States Department of
Regulatory Agency Paper Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Syisha Herman August 22, 2011 Lori Lewellen The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency in the United States Department of Labor. OSHA came about because of the numerous health and safety issues within health care facilities. In health care facilities the issues related to OSHA include bloodborne pathogens, biological hazards, respiratory hazards, potential chemical and drug exposures, and hazards associated with laboratories to name a few.OSHA helps employers and their employees stay safe and reduce job injuries, deaths as well as illnesses.
Many large health care facilities employ a wide range of trades which has health and safety hazards associated with them which can include medical equipment maintenance, housekeeping, mechanical maintenance, laundry, and food service to name some. OSHA wants to protect all American workers. The Pinnacle Systems, Inc (2000) stated, “Whether you are an employer, employee, or have a family member who works, you should know about OSHA.The OSH Act covers: All employers and their employees in the 50 states and all territories and jurisdictions under federal authority” (What Does OSHA Do? para. 1).
OSHA has assured Americans a safe and healthier place to work in hopes of reduce even more injuries, deaths or illnesses on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration came about by Congress and was later signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970.The United States Department of Labor states, “Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA’s role is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for search, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health” (OSHA’s Role, para. 1).OSHA sets up strategies to enforce and assist employers and employees are following OSHA regulations and providing any information that may be needed to facilities in case of and emergency situation.
The Congress finds that personal injuries and illness arising out of work situations impose a substantial burden upon, and are a hindrance to, interstate commerce in terms of lost production, wage loss, medical expenses, and disability compensation payments (United States Department of Labor, 1970 – 2004).OSHA conducts on-site inspections that helps to evaluate a facilities work hazards, they investigates any accidents that are work-related as well as providing educational and formal information materials to help employers and employees to be safe in the workplace, such as information and guidelines on what to do if someone comes into contact with a bloodborne pathogen.OSHA has many rules and regulations for health care and they must follow the rules and regulations to assure the safety and health of a workplace, but it is also the employer and the employees’ responsibility to uphold their end by following and obeying the rules and regulations as well.
By continuing to inspect and all health care facilities on a regular could improve the quality in performance as well as find the areas in which the health facility needs improvement.Five types of inspections are done (rather planned or just showing up) by OSHA that are listed by importance which are imminent danger this kind of inspection means there is reasonable certainty and that danger exist that could lead to death or serious physical harm. A catastrophic and fatal accident is another type of inspection that happens when more than three employees have been hospitalized.Another inspection called employee complaint is done when an employee requests for OSHA to inspect because the employee feels him or her is in danger of a hazard or feels there is a violation of OSHA standard that can threat physical harm.
The fourth inspection is called programmed high hazard inspections this happen when workplaces are selected for inspection based on death, injuries and illnesses rates, and if an employee is exposed to any toxic substances. The last inspection OSHA does is called re-inspections.The re-inspections is done when work cites have been cited for any serious violations OSHA will come back out to the work site to make sure the hazards have been corrected. Penalties can be kind of high for employers who willfully and repeatedly violate OSHA requirements and standards.
An employer can be fined up to $5,000 to $70,000 in penalties not to mention the $7,000 the employer is fined each day they are out of compliance. There has been much debate about the OSHA rules and egulations because of the cost for the regulations and enforcement policies. The Encyclopedia of Business (2011) states, “On the other hand, OSHA has also been criticized by unions and other pro-worker groups throughout its history for doing too little to protect employees. Throughout its existence, OSHA has been criticized for issuing too few new standards, for failing to protect workers who report violations, for failing to adequately protect workers involved in the clean up of toxic-waste sites, and for failing to enforce existing standards” (OSHA, p. ).
OSHA seems to be devoted as to how many inspections are done than be devoted to the actual safety of the employer or employees. After the criticism OSHA has planned to inspect companies more tightly that may have an effective safety and health program. OSHA is determined to use its limited resources effectively to stimulate management commitment and employee participation in comprehensive workplace safety and health programs (United States Department of Labor, Mission Statement, para. ). OSHA is dedicated in improving the quality of their services and knowing that to be successful they must become an agency driven to the commitment to serve the public.
This can all be done just by OSHA listening and responding to customers complaints. In conclusion, OSHA has had its ups and downs but improving is always the main key to success. The main ideal OSHA focuses on is the safety and healthful working conditions for employees throughout the United States.It is every employer and employees job to help stay in compliance with OSHA rules and regulations so that there are no heavy penalties pay when a visit is conducted. The best thing OSHA provides is information and training to all those who seeks to know more about their companies’ safety and health rules and regulations.
Health care facilities will in doubt remain at the top of the list as the biggest places associated with health and safety issues but with the help of employers, employees, and OSHA health care facilities can stay hazard and exposure free.