OSHA rules and regulations can be confusing, so ensuring that your enterprise is OSHA compliant can be challenging without the right tools to guide you. For example, OSHA requires fleet safety inspections but states that documentation isn’t required — at least not until an accident happens and you must prove an inspection occurred. In other words, OSHA sort of requires documentation, but won’t ask for it until you are knee-deep in a safety investigation.
That's not an ideal position to be in and lacking this documentation can be costly. Recently, OSHA increased maximum penalties for inspection violations, skyrocketing from $7,000 for a serious violation to $12,471 — an increase of 78 percent.
Proving a facility is compliant
With today’s regulations and reporting requirements, you should be ready if OSHA inspectors ask for any specific documentation. Is it easily accessible? Are you able to quickly file reports electronically? Do you know if all safety requirements have been met?
Here are four ways telematics can solve these concerns:
- Software documents safety protocols.
- Safety checklists – Customizable questions ensure safe operation and telematics
- Lockout/tagout – Locks a truck on impact so the vehicle cannot operate. OSHA reports that Lockout/Tagout features prevent about 120 fatalities and approximately 50,000 injuries each year.
- Historical tracking – Records traffic issues by location, operator, or the vehicle involved to show patterns.
- Qualifications and vehicle operations are monitored.
- Operator certification records show who has completed training and when certifications expire.
- Telematics locks a vehicle from use by uncertified/unqualified drivers.
- OSHA requires that drivers be retrained and recertified every three years, or after an accident or “near miss” resulting from unsafe behavior. Telematics tracks, schedules, and documents retraining initiatives.
- Federal OSHA regulations require that operator training consist of both classroom and hands-on training. In the event of an impact, telematics can prove both took place.
- Accident details are documented.
- OSHA’s 301 accident report requires documented details on the “how” and “why” of any impact, including operator qualifications and the condition and maintenance data of the forklift(s) involved.
- Telematics automatically documents all details as they occur.
- Records are retained.
- OSHA inspectors typically request the employer produce certain documents. All data collected by telematics remains on the server and can be accessed directly at any time, either from the production system or from the archived file.
Simplify and assure compliance
The repetitive nature of warehouse work and daily pressures sometimes leads to workers who take shortcuts or bypass safety measures to get the job done. Unfortunately, this can lead to costly accidents, injuries, and OSHA violations. But meeting OSHA’s requirements doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Telematic monitoring, analysis, and detailed documentation on fleet vehicles and driver behavior can protect and guide your enterprise, alerting you to issues before they become a violation or, even worse, an accident.