OSHA Compliance and Communication During COVID-19
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided guidelines and regulations to employers since 1970. Their long-standing mission of making workplaces safer applies to all industries and every type of workplace environment.
With the global pandemic of COVID-19, OSHA released new guidelines designed to keep the spread of the deadly virus to a minimum and to inform employers of measures they could implement to provide a safe, healthy workplace.
Where telework or remote working is possible, employers are encouraged to embrace a more distributed workforce. When not possible, OSHA recommends keeping on-site employees more isolated from one another.
While this is certainly a smart approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, it creates other issues that employers and team leaders need to adjust for. In particular, communications throughout the workforce have become more crucial, and training employees on new health-specific guidelines more commonplace. With this new normal impacting business, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and manufacturing, a need for simple but effective communication is critical to keep in compliance with OSHA regulations and guidelines.
Educate and Train Employees
OSHA’s new recommendations specifically point to educating and training employees on your policies and procedures. This can include outlining the need for physical distancing, using face coverings or maintaining a clean, hygienic workplace. In this use case, a mass notification system can be the simplest and most reliable way to reach specific teams or the entire workforce. Using non-critical alerts to notify team members of policy updates or workplace rules ensures everyone gets the message and understands expectations. Regroup’s platform can also help team leaders track which employees were notified and when – making the process of communication more efficient and accountable.
Critical Alerts for COVID-19 Spread Mitigation
With mass notification, you have a fast and reliable way to notify on-site workers of facilities where suspected exposure has occurred. This can be accompanied by instructions for closing the area, disinfecting surfaces, wait times for reopening and a number of other health safety precautions.
Responding quickly – and with accurate information – can help keep the spread of the virus to a minimum. OSHA also requires hazard communications when certain chemicals are used in the workplace. Mass alerts to your workforce will help you comply with these standards when potential exposure is a threat.
Minimizing Negative Impact of Isolation
For companies who opt to send their employees home for work, lack of communication is simply not an option. Some employees may find themselves feeling out of the loop or disconnected from their teams. In this instance, mass notification can help keep employees informed and connected.
As we discussed earlier, reminders, planned messaging and even 2-way messaging can help in keeping employees in touch, accountable and alerted to important updates. Regroup’s platform makes it simpler and faster than video calls, phone calls or even emails. Plus, planned messaging can help alleviate confusion as it relates to deadlines or upcoming events.
Anonymous Reporting for Safety and Privacy
Should an employee be exposed to (or test positive for) the COVID-19 virus, a feature like Regroup’s TipSafe allows them to notify their manager or human resources representative confidentially. This helps ensure the employer is keeping in step with OSHA privacy requirements and offers the employee peace of mind.
By allowing employees the ability to communicate with the appropriate party directly – and irrespective of other means of communication – Regroup’s TipSafe can enhance employee relations and underscore your commitment to a healthful and supportive workplace.
Prevent OSHA Violations and Fines
Not every work environment can accommodate a remote workforce. Manufacturing, laboratories, healthcare facilities, and distribution centers all rely on the workforce being on site. Failure to provide a safe workplace can result in organizations facing violations from OSHA.
Among the most common workplace safety violations are failure to alert employees of hazardous chemicals on-site, falls from unsafe equipment, failure to provide adequate eye protection, and compromised secure entry systems.
Using a mass notification system like Regroup’s, organizations with on-site employees can avoid OSHA violations and better maintain a more compliant level of health and safety for all. With Regroup’s TipSafe, employees can alert supervisors and team leaders to potential violations – helping to mitigate hazards in the workplace.
Communications in Multilingual Environments
From OSHA’s own guidelines, it is recommended that employers establish a system for communicating with employees in the language they best understand. Regroup’s platform can automatically translate outbound messages and alerts to the preferred language of the recipient. So, for larger organizations that may employ a multilingual workforce, Regroup can bridge the communication gap and ensure your message is received, understandable and actionable.
Your Next Steps
At Regroup, we understand the importance of OSHA’s regulations and guidelines – particularly during the global pandemic of COVID-19. We also understand that a keystone to the success of any organization is clear, concise communication. With that in mind, we developed our platform to be easy to use, reliable, feature-rich, and secure. That’s why Regroup is the most trusted name in mass notification systems and why so many businesses, universities, and healthcare facilities depend on Regroup for their mass notification needs.
We’ve prepared a free guide to using mass notification in employee training and communication. You can download your copy here.
Ready to learn more? Click here to schedule a no-obligation demo of Regroup Mass Notification.