Developing an Effective HR Compliance Program

compliance-checkHuman resources compliance is a necessity for any business in today’s legal environment. Between the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), OSHA, sexual harassment, and antidiscrimination laws, a business that isn’t aware of its HR responsibilities is headed for trouble.

When done correctly, HR compliance is a process. It’s a way of defining proper individual and group behaviors, and assuring that laws and policies are understood and followed. This means you must know the laws and develop appropriate policies in relation to these laws. Compliance also means you and your managers need to communicate these policies to the troops, along with your expectations for adherence and the consequences for nonadherence. The latter requires specific investigative and punishment procedures.

Effective HR compliance programs need to be integrated into your business strategies and given more than just lip service. Compliance has to start at the top and trickle down to all levels, so everyone in the company knows that the workplace must be kept safe and discrimination won’t be tolerated.

via Developing an Effective HR Compliance Program | Legal > Labor & Employment Law from

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

ppeOSHA requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective in reducing these exposures to acceptable levels. Employers are required to determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers.

If PPE is to be used, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.

PPE is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, and longshoring.

via Safety and Health Topics | Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Safety Tip – Safe emergency exit routes


Knowing how and when to get out of a building is critical in an emergency situation. All employees should be properly trained on emergency exit procedures, and evacuations should be routinely practiced.

Having a successful evacuation is dependent on having reliable exit routes. OSHA requires every workplace to have at least two evacuation exits or more depending on the size of the facility or workforce.

To keep exit routes safe, OSHA offers the following tips:

  • Keep exit routes free of all clutter, equipment, locked doors and dead-end corridors.
  • Be sure to keep highly flammable furnishings and decorations at a safe distance from emergency exits.
  • Post signs along the walls indicating safe evacuation routes and be sure paths are well-lit.
  • Arrange exit routes so employees will not have to travel past high-hazard areas unless absolutely necessary.
  • Clearly label doors that can be mistaken for an exit with a sign reading “Not an exit” or indicating the room’s purpose, such as “Closet.”

via Safety Tip Safe emergency exit routes.

Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace

sexualharassmentPreventing sexual harassment in the workplace, though difficult, is critically important. Fortunately, federal and state courts that have wrestled with the complex issues present in sexual harassment litigation have identified three steps an organization should take to prevent sexual harassment as well as liability for incidents that may nevertheless occur.

Step 1—Develop a Written Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures.

Step 2—Distribute the Sexual Harassment Policy.

Step 3—Educate the Workforce and Train Supervisors.

via Risk Managers’ Forum—Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace 08/08.

Uncovering a Silent Killer: Hepatitis C

What virus infects 3.2 million Americans, leads to 15,000 deaths each year, and is a major contributor to the fastest-growing lethal cancer in the U.S.?

It’s hepatitis C, and the vast majority of people who are infected don’t even know it, since the virus can be symptomless for years or even decades. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that every American born from 1945 to 1965 get tested for exposure to hepatitis C, which can lead to liver disease and liver cancer.

via Uncovering a Silent Killer: Hepatitis C |

Consider the Principles of Ergonomics in the Office

A large proportion of the American public goes to work every day in an office environment without considering the ergonomics of the equipment they use. There are large a proportion of people working at a desk without giving due consideration to proper ergonomics as they work with ergonomically incorrect keyboards and mice. Working at a computer on a regular basis can cause the same type of stress on your body as other physical labors and in an effort to prevent such injuries from occurring, companies need to consider the principles of ergonomics.

via Ergonomically Correct Mice and Keyboards: the Many Benefits.

Carbon Monoxide Danger

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas, which is predominately produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. Incomplete combustion occurs when insufficient oxygen is used in the fuel (hydrocarbon) burning process. Consequently, more carbon monoxide, in preference to carbon dioxide, is emitted. Some examples of this are the following: vehicle exhausts, fuel burning furnaces, coal burning power plants, small gasoline engines, portable gasoline-powered generators, power washers, fire places, charcoal grills, marine engines, forklifts, propane-powered heaters, gas water heaters, and kerosene heaters.

via CDC – Carbon Monoxide – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections

Change is never easy and old habits are tough to break. Since preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAI’s) affect one in 20 patients, the healthcare community – from the C-Suite to the front line – must come together to change practices that allow HAIs to impact the quality and safety of patient care.

via CDC – Blogs – Safe Healthcare – Behavior Change in Healthcare to Break Old Habits and Prevent HAIs.