Workplace Safety, OSHA, and workers comp
This page will point to some basic Human Resources (HR) practices around workplace safety and workers comp. In addition, HR managers have maintained an HR listserve, which will be transitioned to an HR group on the present (cgn.coop) website.
For those co-ops that have not had an HR audit at all or not recently, the content and value of such a review are discussed in “Why a Human Resources Audit,” by Carolee Colter and Helena O’Connor, linked below under Related Content.
Injuries and workers comp claims are among the many things that should be in each worker’s personnel file; the various contents of such a file are covered by Carolee Colter in “Personnel Files: What and why” -- also linked below under Related Content.
On workplace safety compliance issues, most state departments of labor will provide free posters summarizing the issues. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) will likewise provide posters summarizing workplace safety requirements: > http://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html.
The special problem of long-term work-related injuries or disability receives comment on the HR managers’ listserve, including this by Michelle Weber of Olympia Food Co-op (May 28, 2012):
“The Family Medical Leave Act allows for an employee to be granted unpaid (or paid) leave for up to 12 weeks/year for their own or a family member's serious medical condition, without loosing their job, shifts, seniority, pay, etc. Their position can be covered temporarily, but they are entitled to it if they can return after 12 weeks.
We have an emergency leave fund, so folks can get additional sick leave if they run out on a case like this. And then we have a long term disability plan that kicks in after 180 days of a disabling condition if the person still can't work and pays them 60% of their former wage.”