To help enhance your safety awareness we have outlined the Top 10 OSHA violations from 2019 (2020 is not completed yet) and provided tips on how to avoid them:
1. FALL PROTECTION
Total Violations: 6,010
For the past several years fall protection has reigned as the most common violation on this list. In 2018 there were 320 fatalities (https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/) resulting from an employee falling on the same level or to a lower level surface. Despite being a leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries proper fall protection is not always equipped at sites.
Employers must protect their workers and take the following steps to ensure their safety: Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor, and runway, as well as around dangerous machines and equipment. Include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrail. Select and provide required personal protective equipment to workers and train workers about job hazards in a language they can understand.
2. HAZARD COMMUNICATION
Total Violations: 3,671
Chemicals pose not only health hazards, like irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity, but also physical hazards, such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, train them to handle chemicals responsibly and provide the necessary protective equipment to ensure their safety.
Total Violations: 2,813
Scaffolds are often misused with workers injured every year. These accidents can be caused by misuse (using a scaffold as a ladder) or often it can be due to improper training and deficient or damaged platforms. OSHA has set forth a list of guidelines to help avoid these tragedies. It is important to follow OSHA's advice by proper fall protection equipment and ensure your employees are properly trained by offering Fall Hazard Awareness programs.
4. LOCKOUT / TAGOUT
Total Violations: 2,606
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) refers to specific procedures to prevent injuries due to unexpected start-up of machinery or release of hazardous energy during maintenance activities. Compliance with the LOTO standard (29 CFR 1910.147) control of hazardous energy) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Make sure your practices conform to the site lockout procedure to safeguard against injuries such as amputations and death. Encourage your employees to always ask for direction if they have an uncertainty.
5. RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
Total Violations: 2,450
Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. If someone is exposed to these hazards it can cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. The fit of the respirator around the nose, mouth, or face is crucial to guarding the worker against these hazardous atmospheres. Oftentimes respirators may not fit correctly, do not provide the proper protection or employees may not be trained on how to wear the respirators correctly.
Total Violations: 2,345
Ladder accidents happen when workers select the wrong ladder for the job, don't inspect it for missing or broken pieces or get careless about how they use it. In addition, improper use of scaffolding or other materials as ladder replacements is a common cause of accidents as well. It is important for employees to make sure ladders are in good condition before use, use the correct ladder for the job, never use a metal ladder near electrical wires and never use ladders in place of platforms, skids, or braces.
7. POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS
Total Violations: 2,093
Tens of thousands of injuries related to powered industrial trucks (PIT), or forklifts, occur each year in workplaces across the U.S. Most PIT incidents involve property damage as well. Unfortunately, most injuries and damages are due to lack of safe operating procedures, deficient safety-rule enforcement, and inadequate training. So, to prevent both injury and liability, make sure your workplace does not fall into one of these three categories.
8. FALL PROTECTION - TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Total Violations: 1,773
Training each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards by enabling each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and training each employee on the procedures to minimize the hazards. Training is necessary to understand the proper use and operation of systems for overhead protection, operation of fall protection plans and systems, monitoring and storage to keep employees safe.
9. MACHINERY AND MACHINE GUARDING
Total Violations: 1,743
Moving machine parts create workplace hazards. Machine-related injuries are particularly horrifying, making machine guarding an absolute must. Machine guarding protects employees from nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks with barrier guards, light curtains, and two-hand operating devices. To avoid these injuries, you should never bypass a moving equipment guard and always report damaged or missing guards. Make sure all workers take injury preventative actions until a damaged guard is repaired or missing guard put back into place.
10. EYE AND FACE PROTECTION
Total Violations: 1,411
Conditions where there are flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors or injurious light radiation require appropriate personal protective equipment including eye and face protection and/or detachable side. Employees who wear prescription lenses, proper eye protection the either incorporates the prescription into its design as well as over the prescription lenses must be provided.
It is extremely difficult to keep track of all the safety standards and precautions you should be adhering to. By partnering with Arbill and scheduling a workplace safety site audit today we can help you identify potential deficiencies and design a customized program to help you avoid accidents, keep your employees safe and ensure OSHA compliance.
Have a Safe Day!