“What are some OSHA topics that I can discuss at our next safety committee meeting?” is a question that I often get asked by environmental, health and safety professionals in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industry. In general, rather than just rehashing old material, I like to discuss OSHA topics that are relevant to one of the three areas: 1) OSHA Topics related to recent accidents or incidents; 2) OSHA Topics related to new or upcoming revisions to regulatory requirements; or 3) OSHA Topics related a specific product or service that your company provides. I will discuss each of these 3 areas below:
OSHA Topics related to Recent Accidents or Incidents
If your company has recently had an occupational accident or incident this should be near the top of your safety committee’s agenda. You should review the details of the accident, the root cause, and any corrective actions that will be required to prevent recurrence. When reviewing the details of the accident, it is important not to point blame, but focus on what is being done to prevent an occupational accident from happening in the future.
OSHA Topics related to New or Upcoming Revisions to Regulatory Requirements
Keep your safety committee up-to-date on changing regulatory requirements. They should act as messengers back to their respective departments or areas. One area that will need significant communication is the upcoming changes to the Hazard Communication standard which will be implementing the requirements of the Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. These changes will require that Hazard Communication written programs and training be updated. If you’re not the expert in a particular topic, show a webinar on the specific topic. Affygility Solutions offers a wide variety of environmental, health and safety webinars that are perfect for safety committees.
OSHA Topics related to a Specific Product or Service
If your company is involved in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or medical device manufacturing this should be relatively easy. Find a safety data sheet for your specific product(s) and go through it together. Do they understand the information? Is the information on the safety data sheet accurate? If you have a medical device, select one step in the process and do a table-top hazard evaluation of the process.
Coming up with periodic OSHA Topics to discuss should not be difficult. If you’re having difficulty, try asking your safety committee to come up with the topics themselves. Get them involve, have them become instructors. Occupational health and safety should be a team effort. If you have any questions or need additional information, contact the environmental, health and safety experts at Affygility Solutions.