The Six Most Common OSHA ViolationsJuly 20, 2016
What to Know to Avoid the Risks
There’s a lot that can go wrong on a job site, and there are good reasons why OSHA requirements for a safe work environment are so detailed. While every operation is different, there are a number of frequently recurring issues that have led to both fines and serious on-the-job injuries. Knowing these risks is the best way to improve the overall safety of your operation. As of January, 2016, the six most commonly cited OSHA violations were:
- Fall protection (1926.501): OSHA standards require employers to have appropriate fall protection systems installed on leading edges, around holes and excavations, on ramps, runways and walkways, and on any other walking and working surfaces where the risk of injury is present. As well, appropriate protective equipment — whether it’s a hardhat or an overhead canopy — must be used on job sites where there is a potential for falling object injuries.
- Hazard communication (1910.1200): Employees must be properly warned when working with or around chemicals that could put them at risk. Meeting OSHA’s hazard communication requirement involves making sure material safety data sheets (MSDS) are available and up-to-date, that chemicals are properly labeled and that all employees have the training necessary to make smart and safe decisions when handling potentially toxic, explosive or otherwise dangerous substances.
- Scaffolding (1926.451): Unsafe scaffolding is one of the most common OSHA violations on construction sites. Requirement 1926.451 establishes that scaffolding, with certain exceptions, must be able to support without failure both its own weight and at least four times the maximum load it is rated for.
- Respiratory protection (1910.134): This requirement, applicable in general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring and construction job sites, necessitates that adequate respiratory protection be available when necessary. This includes any conditions in which dust, vapors, fumes, smoke or other health risks are present in the atmosphere.
- Lockout/tagout (1910.147): The lockout/tagout requirement applies to dangerous machines that could cause an accident if not used or serviced properly. This includes hydraulic or pneumatic equipment, electrical equipment, gas or steam equipment, spring tension equipment and more. These and other devices must be used properly, with all maintenance and safety checks thoroughly documented by qualified personnel.
- Powered industrial trucks (1910.178): This standard covers commonly used equipment such as forklifts, lift trucks, hand trucks and related machines. It sets out proper service and maintenance guidelines, as well as detailed information about safe use and employee training.
Are you guilty of any of the above violations? Take steps now to bring yourself into compliance by contacting Fabick Cat. We offer a number of services, including equipment maintenance, fleet management and safety consulting, that can help you avoid the risk and expense of noncompliance.