Monday, December 19, 2016

Top OSHA Violations and How You Can Avoid Them

Violating federal government guidelines is serious and can shut down your new project. The United States Department of Labor publishes a list through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on a frequent basis to inform employers of the guidelines, the most common violations, and how to fix them before an on-site inspection.
The following overview lists the top most frequently cited standards during an inspection. By following the guidelines to avoid OSHA violations, you can increase the safety rating in your workplace while reducing the number of accidents and falls.
Be on the Look-Out for These OSHA Violations
The following is a list of the top ten most frequently cited OSHA violations as of 2016 for the Fiscal Year of 2015 and brief overview of each:
  • Not Following Fall Protection Standards – A worker on elevations higher than four feet in the general industry, five feet in shipyards, and six feet in construction zones should wear a persona fall protection system, use a guardrail system, or safety net systems. This includes workers working on areas with unprotected sides and edges, leading edges, hoist areas, holes including skylights, formwork and reinforcing steel, overhand and bricklaying work, roofing work on low-slope and steep roofs, precast concrete erections, wall openings, residential construction, and more.
  • Not Following Hazard Communication Standards – Employers and workers should always be aware of the types of chemicals and the hazards associated with those. Each chemical should be classified correctly and include a list of hazardous chemicals that are clearly labeled. All employees should be trained regarding the handling of these chemicals during processing, storage, and emergencies. Safety data sheets should be distributed among the workers.
  • Not Following Scaffolding Standards – All scaffolding should be able to support its own weight and up to four times the maximum load without collapsing. The suspension rope that is used on scaffolding needs to hold at least six times the maximum load and each platform should be fully planked or decked appropriately. Each scaffold and planks should measure correctly for the maximum distance depending on the scaffolding’s operations.
  • Not Following Respiratory Protection Standards – Employees working in the general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring, or construction industries should take precautions against respiratory issues by using personal protective equipment such as respirators.
  • Not Following Lockout and Tagout Standards – Several standards are listed for lockout and tagout processes, but include the servicing and maintenance of machines that if turned on could release energy or be physically capable of harming employees.
  • Not Following Powered Industrial Truck Standards – Employers need to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all workers in regards to the fire protection, design, servicing, and use of forklift trucks, tractors, motorized trucks, and other industrialized vehicles.
  • Not Following Ladder Standards – Ladders should be able to withstand up to four times the maximum load with notable exceptions and the rungs should be appropriately distanced from each other. Self-retracting lifelines and rest platforms at intervals are not to exceed 150 feet.
  • Not Following Electrical and Wiring Methods Standards – This standard includes the effective bonding of grounding conductors such as metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and more.
  • Not Following Machine Guarding Standards – Guarding methods can include barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, and more to protect workers from flying parts, pieces, sparks, and other hazards while working.
  • Not Following Electrical and General Requirements – Each electrical equipment or conductor needs to be approved, examined, and suitable for the job.
How to Avoid OSHA Violations at Work
The number one OSHA violation listed is not following fall protection standards. Falling at a worksite not only can lead to injury and paralysis, but in many cases, death. OSHA reports that 359 out of 899 total deaths on construction sites were due to falls in the 2014 calendar year (39.9 percent).
Out of the top ten OSHA violations listed, 6,721 fall protection violations were cited. OSHA plans to increase the penalty amount for future violations. These fines have not been raised in decades and topped at $7,000 per exposed worker and $70,000 per person for serious violations.
The increase will allow OSHA to fine companies close to $12,500 per worker for violations and $125,000 per worker for serious or repeated willful violations. These new penalties went into effect on August 2, 2016.
A few of these OSHA violations can be avoided by using the appropriate fall protection systems including universal safety harnesses, tower harnesses, retrieval harnesses, and lifeline rope. The type of safety equipment you use will depend on the nature of your work.
Harness Land products are OSHA and ANSI compliant and made with a durable construction to meet the demands of the worker. You can find safety harnesses of all types, lanyards, retractable lifelines, anchor points, fall arrest systems, fall protection kits, and rescue systems. The company also offers confined space equipment including tripods with a winch and working suspension chairs.
The staff at Harness Land can help with fall distance calculations to assist you with anchorage and measurements for a shock-absorbing lanyard and D-ring anchorage connector or a retractable lifeline. You can also find useful frequently asked questions and tips to keep your fall protection system in working order, such as never modifying your harness or equipment and only hand washing harnesses.
You will also find safety gear at Harness Land which an inspector may look to see if you keep on hand in the event of an emergency. This includes first aid kits, eye protection, hard hats, safety apparel, material lifting, and heat stress safety.
You can find a variety of brands at Harness Land including Guardian Fall Protection, Jackson Safety, Elk River Fall Protection, MSA Safety, Genuine First Aid, Protecta, Radians Safety Wear, and more.
Whether you are working on a roof, construction site, ladder, or scaffolding, you can find the type of harness or fall protection system you need from Harness Land to avoid OSHA violations.