As I learn more about chiropractic I am quickly realizing they have a huge job to communicate what chiropractic is to the general public. That mission can be easily side tracked while trying to run a business worrying about the day in and day out details. One detail that commonly gets over looked is a clinics regulatory obligation to provide a safe workplace under the OSHA Act.
A quick fact – Employers with one or more employees must comply with OSHA regulations. This is no different for Chiropractic Clinics they are required to meet minimum OSHA requirements if they have one or more employees. Knowing and understanding what OSHA regulations apply to you is key to avoiding citations and fines.
As stated above, chiropractors have more import items to worry about when running a clinic then OSHA compliance. However, not being proactive could be a mistake. While OSHA inspections are not common place in the SIC code 8041 (chiropractic clinics) they do occur. When a fine is assessed the average cost is $1028.00 before any informal settlements.
Being proactive, and getting your OSHA compliance house in order can help you avoid this potentially costly trap. When developing an OSHA compliance strategy consider the following 3 key components
– A safety program manual that addresses only the programs that are required for your chiropractic clinic that meets minimum OSHA requirements. To complete this you can develop one yourself, find a local safety consultant or search the internet to find a provider. A word of caution, many safety manuals are available online and may meet your needs for providing the required safety programs but not address the next 2 items below.
– Ensure required safety training is completed and documented. Many of the safety programs you will need to develop and maintain require training at different intervals. Annually, is a common frequency but is not always the requirement. Take the time to develop a training matrix so you know when and who needs to be trained.
– OSHA doesn’t require that you complete physical inspections but they do require that you maintain compliance with standard requirements. As an example, the machine guarding standard would require guards in certain machinery be maintained. The best way to ensure guards are in place when required is to complete routine inspections so you can see they are on and working as intended.
Being proactive when developing your safety program, safety training and inspection strategies can pay off if you do get an OSHA inspection and they don’t have to be time consuming or expensive. There are many safety professionals that want to help you succeed. They understand your mission is to talk to the public about chiropractic. Not OSHA compliance and the details that come with a compliance program.
Source: Ezine Articles – Joe Tavenner