Unfortunately, blaming an employee won't work if OSHA finds a violation. Here's how to protect yourself from being penalized for team members' mistakes.
When OSHA comes knocking with evidence of an infraction, even good team training won't protect you from penalties unless you can show that your hospital enforced the rule diligently, took reasonable steps to ensure that the team members understood the rule, and provided necessary protective equipment. If you did all that, you can defend yourself by arguing "unpreventable employee misconduct."
Of course, you're better off preventing the problem in the first place than needing to defend yourself. So if you see potential violations, investigate. The key question: Is the solution more training or disciplinary action? Here's the best way to find out:
That gives the team member a chance to say, "I don't understand." If that happens, then retraining, not discipline, is the best course of action. If he or she says something like, "I know the rule; I just don't like it," then training will not solve the problem.
Look online. To learn the "four strike" method of disciplining team members, click here
Philip Seibert, CVT, is an author, speaker, and consultant with SafetyVet in Calhoun, Tenn. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org