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The Importance of Meeting Safety Agencies When Working Out of State



Matt Jannings
Jan 10, 2020 12:50:47 PM

Almost every State that a company works in has their own of state-run regulatory agency. While the Federal division of OSHA sets the federal standards, the States have the authority to set their own standards.

If a company is expanding into a new state, it is very important that you set up a meeting with representatives from the regulatory group overseeing policies. A perfect example would be for a company based out to Alaska working in California.

I am willing to bet a company that works in AK has a robust set of policies about working in frigid temperatures. Do you think they have a comprehensive program to protect their workers from working in extreme heat environments? To avoid citations or shutdowns, any time a company moves into new territory they need to do their due diligence to recognize and adjust their own policies to fit the needs of their crews for their new environment.

I do not believe regulatory organizations are looking to “Get you”. They are looking out for your workers. As a regulatory group it is their responsibility to research leading cause of injuries and deaths. Then they build governing laws to make sure companies are doing their best to make sure their employees are not put in harm’s way. As with any regulatory organizations, Osha, law enforcement, or federal enforcement, your “ignorance” to the regulations in not a defense.

It is important to state; You should not look at these organizations as a roadblock to you getting your work done. They have the meta data. They have the personnel to research what can cause harm. They are there to make sure as companies we are doing the best we can for our workers. They are there to make sure we are not putting our workers into situations, knowingly or unknowingly, that could cause them tremendous harm. If you find yourself in a situation where one of these organizations are coming down on you do your best to see the bigger picture. Whether or not you receive a violation, it is important that you learn from this and use it as a 'lesson learned' moment.

Matthew Jannings
CHST Safety Director
Pacific Foundation

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