Chapter 9 -
Cooperation and Assistance

Cooperation and Assistance

Safety in the workplace demands cooperation and alertness on everyone's part. Supervisors, operators, and other workers who notice hazards in need of safeguarding, or existing systems that need repair or improvement, should notify the proper authority immediately.

Supervisors have these additional, special responsibilities with regard to safety in the workplace; encouraging safe work habits and correcting unsafe ones; explaining to the worker all the potential hazards associated with the machines and processes in the work area; and being responsive to employer requests for action or information regarding machine hazards. The first-line supervisor plays a pivotal role in communicating the safety needs of the worker to management and the employer's safety rules and policies to the worker.

Sometimes the solution to a machine safeguarding problem may require expertise that is not available in a given establishment. The readers of this manual are encouraged to find out where help is available and, when necessary, to request it.

The machine's manufacturer is often a good place to start when looking for assistance with a safeguarding problem. Manufacturers can often supply the necessary literature or advice. Insurance carriers, too, will often make their safety specialists available to the establishments whose assets they insure. Union safety specialists can also lend significant assistance.

Some government agencies offer consultation services, providing for on-site evaluation of workplaces and the recommendation of possible hazard controls. OSHA funds one such program, which is offered free of charge to employers in every state. Delivered by state governments or private contractors, the consultation program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort; no citations are issued and no penalties are proposed. The trained professional consultants can help employers recognize hazards in the workplace and can suggest general approaches for solving safety and health problems. In addition, the consultant can identify sources of other available help, if necessary.

Anyone with questions about Federal standards, about the requirements for machine safeguarding, or about available consultation services should contact OSHA. (See the list of OSHA Regional Offices in the back of this publication.)


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