GVACC invites businesses to attend OSHA seminar

Published 10:00 am Friday, February 24, 2023

Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting an OSHA seminar to discuss new OSHA enforcement initiatives. Southeastern Onsite Safety Authorized OSHA Trainer Duane Gaither will be running the session on March 9.

“We’re explaining to businesses that OSHA is now making a conscious effort to increase the awareness for businesses of how to protect workers,” Gaither said.

Registration for the seminar is open until March 6 on the Chamber website and is a $10 charge for members. The event will take place at the Chamber of Commerce at 12 p.m. eastern time.

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“We want to make sure that we offer seminars that benefit local businesses and industries, and we want to encourage everyone to participate,” said GVACC Director Carrie Wood.

OSHA announced new initiatives will deter companies from placing emphasis on profits rather than safety. To that end, OSHA will be stricter with their citations and increase fines if an injury or fatality is reported. But Gaither doesn’t expect OSHA to pay more visits for inspections. 

Southeastern Onsite Safety  visits businesses to ensure that their operations are compliant with OSHA’s safety standards. The session’s aim is to bring attention to important guidelines, which will help ensure employee safety.

“We try to educate the public, educate these business owners, and especially small business owners, HR managers — anybody that is responsible for the safety of the employees — of what changes are coming so that they can better prepare themselves to be compliant,” Gaither said. 

The new initiatives may affect companies that employ immigrant and non-immigrant workers. In the case of an accident, OSHA will certify to the government should provided any immigrant workers with a visa during their investigation. 

According to the Gaither, this new policy is relevant to all industries, including retail, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and warehousing. 

“It’s not just about manufacturing. One of the most cited companies in America is Dollar General,” Gaither said. “It goes across the entire gambit.”

Gaither said that many businesses don’t realize the resources they have available for safety training. Southeastern Onsite Safety runs disaster site worker training, American Red Cross training and OSHA authorized training for general industry. 

“We believe in safety all around,” Gaither said.