By: The Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Administration (PR OSHA)
Creating a safe and healthy workplace for all who work and visit your company is your responsibility under the law. For you to comply, the government of Puerto Rico has an office that, as part of its mission, can provide you with the necessary tools. Learn more about them and take advantage of how they can help your business.
The Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Administration (PR OSHA) is part of the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH for its Spanish acronym). The office oversees, supervises, and enforces the provisions of all state and federal laws, regulations, or standards dealing with occupational health and safety.
PR OSHA covers almost all industries, businesses, entities, and occupations on the island, according to the agreement established between the United States and Puerto Rico governments. Since they fall under federal jurisdiction, it does not cover those industries dedicated to handling maritime cargo (longshoring), shipbuilding and repairs, and the postal service,
In addition to protecting your employees, OSHA provides guidance to you as an employer. To do so, there are tools such as:
- Free and penalty-exempt consulting services
- Information about your responsibilities as an employer
- Guidance regarding employees’ rights
- Providing training, conferences, and technical advice
PR OSHA features the following divisions:
- Bureau of Inspections
- Consultation Program
- Division of Technical Assistance
- Evaluation Division
- Legal Division
- Elevators and Boilers Division
Do your share
As an employer, you should know that PR OSHA can inspect virtually all public and private sector workplaces to verify regulatory compliance.
Here are some of the regulations with which you must comply:
- 2 OSH 1904 – Requires employers to create and maintain records of all your employees’ occupational injuries and illnesses. This applies if the company has 11 or more employees during the year.
- 1 OSH 1903.2(a)(1) – Display the 2003 OSHA poster provided by said office. The poster should not be altered or covered by other notices. The PR OSHA Act states that it must be placed in a visible location within the business. For example, where you usually place notices for your employees.
- There are other standards, or regulations that could apply to you due to the nature of your business. This in accordance with the processes, materials, and equipment used in your operations. It should be noted that all this guidance is provided at no cost to the employer.
Additional resources to promote your compliance
Puerto Rico OSHA has a Consultation Program that will allow you to learn more about occupational health and safety matters. To take advantage of the program, request that the PR OSHA team visit your company to identify occupational hazards or unsafe practices. They will then submit recommendations to minimize or eliminate such hazards. If serious hazards that may affect your employees’ health or safety are found, you must commit to correcting them within the stipulated timeframe.
PR OSHA also gives you the opportunity to participate in its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). It includes employers who lead the way within the field of occupational health and safety.
SHARP emphasize the importance of occupational health and safety programs provided by employers with employee participation, encourage continuous improvement and recognize their excellence.
Visit trabajo.pr.gov/prosha to learn how to comply with the PR OSHA Act by providing accident-free and hazard-free workplaces. You can also download literature and informative material. Contact the PR OSHA Consultation Program by calling 787-705-6678.
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