Most employers understand the value of providing a safe and secure environment for their workers. Employers that invest in workplace safety and health can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Creating a safe work environment also results in cost savings in a variety of areas, such as lowering workers' compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA) penalties and reducing costs to train replacement employees and conduct accident investigations.
For employers, it’s a win-win because changes made to improve workplace safety and health result in significant improvements to their organization's productivity and financial performance, and potentially a reduction in insurance costs. An additional bonus is that they’ll also build a reputation for being somewhere employees really want to work.
Although manufacturing or industrial sites most often come to mind when discussing workplace safety, OSHA regulations include every job site. While the danger may not come from heavy equipment or electrical circuits, the risk is real even in an office environment. Workplace Violence and Emergency Evacuation Procedures ensure that office workers are prepared to handle unforeseen incidents such as tornados. But some companies seem to be missing the mark — OSHA conducted 31,948 federal inspections in fiscal year 2016.Walking the walk
“It’s easy to say your firm cares about safety,” notes a 2017 article in Staffing Success Magazine called “Reaching the Highest Standard of Temporary Worker Safety.” But actually developing and implementing a healthy workplace strategy can be difficult for some employers.
“Companies may be unaware of their responsibility to temporary employees and to follow the full scope of OSHA regulations, or have critical gaps in their knowledge on this subject,” says Scott Bicksler, lead safety manager at Aerotek. “Some may think the issue is too complicated to deal with.” Because of this, a trustworthy recruitment partner, with extensive experience in mitigating health and safety risks, can be your largest ally in avoiding unnecessary legal exposure.
“By helping companies learn more about safety standards, what’s required and what’s at risk, we can better prepare them for the future,” says Scott Bicksler, lead safety manager at Aerotek.Setting the standard
Bicksler has been instrumental in working with the American Staffing Association (ASA) to advocate for safer American work environments. In 2013, he began serving on the ASA’s Safety Committee, which meets quarterly with OSHA representatives on the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) to foster better communication and to establish mutual priorities. To learn more about the Temporary Worker Initiative client and staffing agency responsibilities, visit OSHA’s TWI:.
Since then, the committee’s work has led to the development of criteria for the ASA’s Safety Standard of Excellence program that encourages the adoption of workplace safety best practices and standards, and to foster and measure continuous safety improvements across all industry sectors.
Regarding that program, Staffing Success Magazine cited Aerotek’s efforts to elevate the discussion and create higher awareness of the importance of focusing on worker safety. “Our tagline is ‘Our People Are Everything,’ and we hope the entire [industry] feels that way — that the most important asset in this industry really is the employees that we put out there,” Bicksler explained. “Having an industry-wide safety mark helps to make that case.”
Before joining Aerotek, Bicksler served in the U.S. Army for 18 years as a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare specialist, so he’s well-equipped to diagnose and mitigate risk. “I’m passionate about what I do,” he says. “The bottom line is just ensuring that we’re doing everything we can to keep our employees safe and healthy.”
Want to learn more about OSHA compliance? Contact Aerotek now.