The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) puts out an annual list of its Top 10 workplace safety violations. In this Workplace Safety spotlight, we’ll count down the list and give you suggestions for avoiding these violations in your facility.
OSHA’s Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations
10. Machine Guarding
Many industrial machines come with the risk of injury, both from the dangerous machinery itself and the debris certain machines can create. OSHA dictates the use of adequate machine guards to protect users from these hazards. Make sure that these guards are in place at your plant, that they are maintained regularly, and that your employees know how to use them.
9. Eye and Face Protection Equipment
A factory environment presents a number of risks to employees’ faces – particularly their eyes. We’ve already mentioned debris, but chemical splashes are also a hazard. Ensure that your employees’ face and eye guards are durable, disinfectable, and snug.
8. Fall Protection – Training
You may be surprised to see fall protection this low on the list, but keep in mind this type of violation pertains specifically to the fall-prevention training employees receive. The best way to avoid a citation here is to make sure your training is current and comprehensive.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks
Forklifts and other heavy transport vehicles are a frequent cause of serious injury. As with many of OSHA’s Top 10 workplace safety violations, training is key. However, employees who operate heavy transport trucks must take the additional step of certification for their use.
Lockout and tagout (LOTO) is a procedure involving disabling equipment to prevent dangerous energy discharges, which can lead to burns and electrocution. Accordingly, make sure you have a written LOTO program in place, your employees have a working knowledge of the procedures within the program, and equipment subject to energy discharges is regularly maintained.
Scaffolding is a temporary platform which allows employees access to projects under construction. Make sure that scaffolds are sturdy and will stand up to being jostled without collapsing. Also, include safety measures to minimize the risk associated with falling off scaffolding.
Walking under a ladder is supposed to be bad luck, but working on a ladder that doesn’t meet OSHA requirements is a bad idea, period. OSHA’s safety standards pertain to the height of the ladder, the angles at which they rest, and their load-bearing capacity. Consider downloading the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health’s Ladder Safety app to optimize the selection, measurement, inspection, and use of ladders in your workplace.
3. Respiratory Protection
Some factories and warehouses make employees especially susceptible to respiratory distress, illness and injury. Dust, smoke, gases and other chemicals are common culprits. Be sure to provide employees with appropriate respiratory protection as well as the training and maintenance techniques necessary to use it properly.
2. Hazard Communication
Like so many other elements of business, maintaining workplace safety requires effective communication. Make sure all hazards are labeled and keep emergency procedures fresh in your employees’ minds.
1. Fall Protection – General Requirements
With more than double the instances of citations than the next item on the list, fall protection holds the top spot in violation frequency. The best measures for avoiding this risk are identifying fall hazards present on a project or in a work area, and the use of properly maintained protection equipment once work begins.
Remain Vigilant to Avoid OSHA’s Top 10 workplace safety violations
For more safety tips, browse our Workplace Safety blog posts. And if you’re looking for help recruiting and retaining employees, contact ICR Staffing.