Compliance officers at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspect workplaces in order to prevent illness, injury and death to workers. However, Consequently, the agency focuses on visiting workplaces that have imminent danger situations, fatalities and catastrophes, complaints and referrals among other problems. Employers are responsible for ensuring workplace safety and for preventing tragic outcomes like the deadly chemical leak in a Houston chemical plant accident. Identifying Workplace Hazards OSHA designates four types of workplace hazards that are the responsibility of employers to focus on in order to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of industrial accidents. Physical: Conditions that present opportunities for accidents include tripping, constant exposure to loud noise, working on scaffolding or ladders, unguarded machinery, equipment in motion and spills. Chemical: Exposure to chemicals in solid, gas or liquid form can create severe health consequences. Employees who come into contact with carbon monoxide, gasoline, cleaning products, solvents and flammable materials are at risk. Biological: Working with animals, plants and other people can expose employees to hazardous conditions that include bacteria, viruses, bodily fluids, insect bites and fecal matter. Ergonomic: Employees whose work requires repetitive motion may not immediately recognize a negative impact on their personal health and well-being. However, stress on the body can result from frequent lifting or from working in areas that have poor lighting or uncomfortable chairs and workstations. Taking Preventive Measures Carelessness and ignorance are factors that are often involved in workplace accidents, and taking steps to prevent them can contribute to making a workplace safe. Implementing practical measures that help keep workers safe is a simple and effective approach to improving workplace safety. Providing Adequate Warnings: Danger zones that may exist in workplaces can expose workers to unknown hazards. Good practices for employers include warning employees and training about the presence of hazardous conditions. A posted warning can alert workers to the need to exercise caution in danger zones. Maintaining Equipment: Use of industrial equipment without providing regular maintenance can result in employee death or injury. Setting a standard that requires inspection and quality assurance of each piece of industrial equipment can reduce the incidence of accidents and potentially save lives. Using Proper Disposal Methods: Industrial accidents can occur from the improper disposal of chemicals and hazardous waste. Fire, explosions and toxic fumes that are harmful to employees are avoidable when employers institute a safety program that requires proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials. Training Employees: Combating employee unawareness about dangers on the job can contribute to implementing a corporate safety program. Enlisting the participation of all employees through training helps preserve their health and safety, and it may curtail the occurrence of accidents. Providing Emergency Notification: Notifying employees of emergency procedures when an accident occurs is a courtesy and an effective way to control panic as well. Regular briefings can provide information about recommended responses to natural disasters. Implementing a Safety Program The requirement to comply with OSHA’s guidelines is the duty of employers, whether or not an inspection takes place. By educating employees about dangers in the workplace and by taking steps to prevent accidents, employers can comply with governmental regulations and make the workplace safe. Volunteer organizations conduct safety inspections that may help employers maintain a healthy and safe workplace. OSHA provides a publication for businesses that offers suggestions on planning and implementing a safety program to eliminate hazards and to train personnel. The booklet includes an inspection list that employers may use to ensure compliance with regulations. As a valuable aid, it cites areas that pose accident potential.