One of the main purposes of the Sunscape Dealer Support Center is served right here, in the Biz Development pages, where you can read tips, techniques, and strategies that will help make your business a success. This collection would not be complete without a discussion of the most critical aspect of your business management efforts: the safety of your employees. And any overview of workplace safety must feature the federal government’s safety watchdog, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
By OSHA’s definition, window film installers are construction workers. The construction industry is perhaps OSHA’s most-watched and most-regulated segment of the American workforce, and is probably guilty of more violations than the rest, as well. Of the top 10 most frequently cited standards (those most often found to be violated) posted on the OSHA website, at least three relate to work your installers likely perform daily and to equipment they use frequently.
Employers make two common mistakes when it comes to addressing safety at their jobsites. The first is thinking that a safety program – with its training requirements, special equipment and gear, and perceived slowing of productivity – is simply too expensive, and that being “safe enough for me” on the job is a better economic choice than being safe in the view of OSHA.
An apt response to that type of thinking can be made by taking the well-known quote, “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance”, and paraphrasing it to say, “if you think safety is expensive, try an OSHA inspection”. Fines levied by OSHA are meant to ensure future compliance, and they do – if they don’t cripple your business or put it under in the process. A severe or willful safety violation, or even a handful of lesser ones, can impose a crushing financial burden on your operation.
Accounts of businesses being hit with these kinds of massive penalties are what likely leads to the second mistake employers make regarding safety. Many of us believe that OSHA’s main purpose is to track down violators, impose fines, collect money for the government, and make life miserable for the small business owner. The fact is, OSHA offers numerous resources for employers, and would rather educate than punish people.
It’s worth investing the time to peruse the OSHA home page and familiarize yourself with what’s available. Visit the small business page for FAQ and answers; there’s even a quick-start tool to get you started on compliance programs.
OSHA doesn’t have to be the enemy of your business, and safety can’t be an afterthought. The well-being of your employees depends on your taking positive, quantified steps toward making your jobsites as safe as possible. Without that, any profitability you achieve is at risk, and so is your reputation.