Achieve OSHA Compliance and Ace Audits with CMMS Software

For companies in the manufacturing, facilities management, or construction sectors, OSHA compliance is top-of-mind. Failing to live up to OSHA standards can lead to severe fines, legal battles, or reputational damage, not to mention harm to employees and team morale. However, adhering to regulations and keeping stringent documentation is daunting for harried maintenance teams. 

Enter the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). By streamlining processes and task logs in one central hub, good software can help you avoid compliance headaches and ensure a safe workplace. Let’s look at how CMMS software bolsters OSHA compliance and makes audits a breeze.

What is OSHA and what does it require?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a government body, uses its authority to create and uphold safety regulations guaranteeing a healthy workplace for workers in the US, and that employers take measures to minimize hazards to employees. OSHA’s influence reaches private businesses and their employees as well as certain public sector entities. By setting rules, carrying out inspections, and imposing fines or penalties for violations, the agency plays a foundational role in the well-being of the labor force.

OSHA recommendations include several pillars that make a safe workplace: 

  • Management Leadership: Ensures top-level management prioritizes worker safety consistently through communications and organizational initiatives. 
  • Worker Participation: Recommends worker involvement in the establishment of safety protocols and procedures. 
  • Hazard Identification and Assessment: Ensures systematic and regular identification and evaluation of potential hazards.
  • Hazard Prevention and Control: Implementation of regular protocols and standard operating procedures to minimize and prevent the impact of identified hazards. 
  • Education and Training: Ensures communication of hazards and protocols for prevention and control methods expected across the organization by all employees. 
  • Program Evaluation and Improvement: Regularly assesses the effectiveness of worker safety and hazard prevention efforts for ongoing improvement. 
  • Communication and Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors, and Staffing Agencies: Extends safety protocols to all non-employee workers.

The message couldn’t be clearer: Organizations must follow OSHA standards systematically, and with the participation of all levels of management in order to sufficiently ensure workplace safety. Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences. OSHA fines can easily hit tens of thousands per violation. And if you’re found to be willfully or repeatedly non-compliant, prepare for even steeper penalties. 

But the finances aren’t the worst part. Accidents, injuries, and in the worst cases, fatalities may result in failing to incorporate OSHA’s researched and recognized industry best practices. Legal risks, negative PR, and reputation damage are all likely consequences as well 

How OSHA impacts maintenance teams

Maintenance teams are often at the front lines of OSHA regulations because they so often work with heavy or potentially hazardous equipment, materials, and environments. For example, teams have to follow a particular set of rules such as lockout tagout (LOTO) protocols when conducting equipment shutdown and isolation during routine maintenance, which is a crucial step in preventing accidents. 

In addition, OSHA requires workers to use protective precautions and devices on machinery in order to safeguard workers from dangerous moving parts. The agency requires a high level of hazard communication, in which workers must be extensively trained about dangerous chemicals and other hazards present in their working environment. 

In order to maintain compliance, maintenance workers must consistently follow safety protocols, maintain accurate records, and stay up-to-date with evolving regulations. This isn’t easy, especially when combined with the numerous other maintenance responsibilities that may be managed through outdated or manual processes. 

CMMS features that help support OSHA compliance

A robust CMMS software offers a range of features designed to help maintenance teams navigate OSHA compliance challenges. By automating key processes, providing easy access to information, and facilitating consistent adherence to important protocols, a CMMS empowers maintenance professionals to work safer and smarter. 

1. Checklists and tools for real-time documentation 

One of the most powerful compliance tools a CMMS offers is the ability to create custom digital checklists for maintenance tasks. These checklists can incorporate OSHA-mandated safety steps, required PPE, and other critical information.

Using mobile CMMS apps, technicians can access and complete these checklists right at the job site, ensuring safety protocols are followed consistently. The CMMS automatically records all completed steps, creating a digital audit trail.

This real-time documentation helps demonstrate compliance during OSHA inspections and makes it easy to track trends or spot areas for improvement. For example, if a certain safety step is frequently missed, managers can quickly identify the issue and provide targeted retraining.

2. Centralized access to critical information 

A CMMS acts as a focal point for all the compliance and maintenance information a team must manage. This software will keep track of things like the overall history of work performed, the parts used, and their cost. This makes it much easier to indicate that you’ve accomplished important inspections up to OSHA standards.

A CMMS also offers a secure, accessible location for all your key compliance documents like SOPs, safety manuals, and training materials. Team members can quickly take a look at these resources to confirm work was done right, reducing risk of errors or oversights that could lead to compliance issues or accidents.

3. Simpler audits with easy-to-find documentation 

A CMMS will also make an OSHA audit or investigation much simpler. With powerful search and reporting features, teams can obtain records of task oversight, approvals, and internal safety inspections, along with corrective actions taken, and any employee training that occurred in response. 

Instead of digging through file cabinets or scattered digital folders, you can generate reports from a CMMS showing all relevant compliance data. Many CMMS solutions even offer pre-built compliance reports that pull all required information with just a few clicks, saving time during the audit process and demonstrating your commitment to safety.

4. Better adherence to standards with schedules and reminders 

If you want to consistently meet OSHA standards, you need careful planning and execution. A CMMS creates accountability for inspections and preventive maintenance schedules and can also send timely reminders. Managers can create recurring tasks for any inspection that OSHA requires. This includes calibrations, LOTO procedures, or safety checks, ensuring they never get missed or delayed. 

When creating work orders in a CMMS, managers can also attach relevant safety procedures or checklists. This puts critical compliance information right at technicians’ fingertips, reducing the risk of skipped steps or overlooked safety measures. By making it easier to follow OSHA standards consistently, a CMMS helps maintenance teams avoid compliance gaps that could lead to accidents or violations.

5. Streamlined workflows, approvals, and oversight 

Going beyond simple scheduling and reminders, a CMMS makes workflows and approvals much more streamlined. This oversight reinforces a culture of safety and creates a framework that enables everyone to follow critical safety measures.

A CMMS also gives managers real-time visibility into maintenance activities. They can easily track the status of compliance-related work orders, see which tasks are overdue, and identify any potential issues. With this level of oversight, managers can proactively address compliance risks before they result in OSHA violations or workplace accidents.

Achieve OSHA compliance and peace of mind with a CMMS

Any industry that is subject to compliance will benefit from tools that can both ensure and demonstrate adherence to regulations in a clear and streamlined manner. When you want to stay on top of OSHA regulations, CMMS software delivers the means and the information to get the job done safely and efficiently. 

With the right software helping you keep information in one place, you gain the peace of mind that comes with minimizing compliance risks. To learn more about how a CMMS can support your OSHA compliance efforts, contact us today.

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