How OSHA works in the organization can be complex, but at the documentation level, there are ways to simplify OSHA compliance.

When it comes to documentation in the workforce, OSHA requirements are more prevalent than many administrators realize.

What’s more, most human resources professionals or compliance personnel aren’t aware that there are ways to simplify meeting requisite standards of the Occupational Health and Safety Act at the document level.

Understanding how OSHA works at the level of documentation within an organization will equip companies to leverage software that simplifies adhering to the rules.

Part of the United States Department of Labor, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, including the enforcement of standards by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

This government entity operates in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Here are its most critical components, and how they can be simplified by eFileCabinet’s document management solutions.

Standard 1904: Recording and reporting occupational injuries and illness

OSHA Standard 1904’s purpose is to require employers to maintain and make factually accurate records and to report work related fatalities, injuries, illnesses, and other occurrences.

Most importantly, these records must be made available to government officials upon request so they can secure proper working conditions.

1904.33 Keeping records for more than one agency

This stricture states that if you are required under another government agency’s injury and illness recording requirements that OSHA will consider those records as meeting OSHA’s Part 1904 recordkeeping requirements if OSHA accepts the other agency’s records under a memorandum of understanding with that agency, or if the other agency’s records contain the same information as Part 1904 requires you to record.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

How OSHA works doesn’t have to be complicated when it comes to recordkeeping. One thing is for certain – if the records aren’t organized and the additional party won’t be able to remote in to get a glimpse of what’s going on, it’ll be difficult to make a case.

Additionally, as the intermediary organization, you will be more likely to spread your compliance purposes and receive credence from OSHA with a satellite and remote access tool, such as eFileCabinet’s Enterprise Access.

1904.44 – Retention and updating of old forms Subpart F

This standard demands that you must save your copies of the OSHA 200 and 101 forms for five years following the year to which they relate and continue to provide access to the data as though these forms were the OSHA 300 and 301 forms.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

eFileCabinet’s automated retention and deletion facilitates this standard, ensuring that files won’t need to be removed from the system manually once they’ve remained in the system for a period of time specified by the user.

1904.33 – Retention and maintenance of accurate records

This stipulation, in its basic requirement, requires the OSHA 300 Log and OSHA 301 Incident Report Form to be saved for 5 years following the end of the calendar year that these records cover.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

Again, retention is a feature that will help dispose of records required by OSHA law when they are no longer needed. Additionally, record maintenance is more easily obtained with a secure digital filing system, as it prevents document related issues such as spotting, wear, and tear.

1904.40 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

In its basic requirement, when an authorized government representative requests the records held under 1904, accurate records and copies thereof must be provided to the official within four (4) business hours of the request.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

If a government agency requests a document from you and you cannot provide it within four hours, that’s not good news, but it’s how OSHA works: their strictures are very clear albeit sometimes complex, and there’s a much greater change you’ll lose a document if it’s filed traditionally in a filing cabinet or even in a Windows folder structure. Full-text search, enhanced file retrieval and findability, and predefined document names make this a lot easier to achieve.

1926.1207 (d) – Employee Training

Employer must maintain the training records to show that the training required by paragraphs 19.26.1207(a) through (c) of this standard has been accomplished. The training records must contain each employee’s name, the name of the trainers, and the dates of training.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

eFileCabinet users can specify the data that needs to retained in a document’s metadata, including the items listed above. In fact, many of these items overlap with and correspond to the Metadata Object Description Schema’s standards.

What’s more, automated document routing, predefined document names, file versioning, and retention also facilitate these standards in eFileCabinet’s suite of products.

Appendix  to 19.26.65 – Training Curriculum Guidelines

Under Program quality control, an organization’s training director should complete an annual written audit of the training program so it can be modified as needed. These program modifications should be devised to address deficiencies, if any are present, and the audit materials, including its documentation, should be maintained at the training facility.

Under recordkeeping, the providers of training are required to retain the dates that courses were presented, the names of the individual course attendees, the names of the students successfully completing each course, and the number of training certificates issued to each passing student. These records must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years after the date the training course was completed.

eFileCabinet features that facilitate this

The concept of quality control and recordkeeping are indivisible under most organizations’ information management strategies. Additionally, conducting an audit and ensuring all the documentation needed for it is retrievable and easily accessible makes the job a lot easier. But that’s how OSHA works: they won’t tell you how you can make the job easier, but they’ll outline the requirements for meeting their standards.

Just a few of the ways eFileCabinet solves this problem is by data redundancy and secure, on-site storage (for our on-premises solution), audit trails (to the extent that training of an employee requires record storage, retrieval, and viewing of confidential documentation, retention, and document metadata.

In conclusion, the best document management solutions can simplify compliance, even though most vendors focus more on SEC, HIPAA, and other forms of compliance.