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Top 5 OSHA Violations You Need to Avoid

Posted In Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Friday, April 18th, 2014 With No Comments »

OSHA, also known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is one of the most important government regulated organizations in workplace safety compliance. Ranging from personal worker protection to safe workplace environment violations, OHSA makes sure that the private sector is worrying about employee well-being, not just the bottom line.

In fact, many of the fines that OSHA places on small businesses and organizations cause the entities to fall into bankruptcy. If you want to help your long-term bottom-line as an employer or business owner, you should probably listen to the following list of the top five OSHA violations in 2013.

The Most Frequent Offenses

many of the fines that OSHA places on small businesses and organizations cause the entities to fall into bankruptcy.OSHA is able to make standard, unannounced inspections of a workplace if they feel that the company is not following proper procedure or if the company is involved with a certain industry. Certain industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation require more monitoring than other companies who buy and sell simple, non-alarming merchandise. If you fall within the perimeters of these industries you may want to prepare for the following inspections:

Fall Protection

One of the most frequent violations in OSHA inspections is worker safety mishaps. Many of these violations have a direct correlation to the lack of fall protection for workers exceeding six feet in measure from the ground. If your workers are not strap to a fall protection device and continuously hooked onto an apparatus that prevents major injury, or even death, from occurring, then you’re opening yourself up to possible lawsuits and fines from OSHA. All workers elevated above six feet must wear fall protection in the event of a slip and fall or other accident while on a platform.

Hazard Communication

I doubt you want your employees suing you for dipping their arm into acid that they thought was water. Although employers would believe that individuals have certain intuitive skills, many find themselves in lawsuits and fines when employees are exposed to unmarked chemicals in the workplace. If you’re creating chemicals, manufacturing drugs, or using extensive heat exposure to procure a substance, you must properly label substances within the factory or during delivery. Improper labeling, or the absence of labeling altogether, may create problems within your workplace, especially if OSHA stops by. One of the most prominent violations is the lack of labeling and communication of hazardous materials in the workplace. Communication between departments and logistics makes processes smoother, but sometimes employees or managers want to cut corners in order to increase the bottom-line. Doing this may cost you hundreds of thousands.

Scaffolding

Back in the early 1900’s, construction workers were building skyscrapers 200 feet in the air with no harnesses or fall protection. If a man fell, they simply sent a letter to his family and maybe wrote them a check. Today, men or women working on rooftops must wear fall protection on scaffolding when constructing elevated buildings. Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and materials during construction or repair. Many of the OSHA violation are placed on companies who do not have proper procedures or work with dated scaffolding that is unsafe to workers’ weight loads.

Electrical Wiring Methods

Electrical exposures are very dangerous and can cause extreme shock, or even death, if the voltage is great enough. Most companies fall victim to fines from OSHA when they cut corners to lower costs and intertwine wiring with ductwork that may carry vapors or flammable gas. In the event of a fire, the gas combustion would cause a reaction in the electrical wiring of the infrastructure. Further electrocution or fire would occur as a result.

Machine Guarding

There is nothing worse than hearing cries from the factory and running down to see that one of your workers has lost a hand or finger. What is even worse is the equipment they were using did not have proper guarding. If a worker is operating heavy machinery, there must always be a safety precaution with the machine – whether in the form of a kill switch, grip-lock, barrier block to point of entry, or platform activation. Only when the machine is being used by the worker should the power be available for use. Many serious injuries and deaths have occurred from the lack of guarding mechanisms on machines.

So there you have it – the top five most common OSHA violations. Luckily, no matter your industry, these are easy fixes that require nothing more than simple safety precautions.

This article was written by Matthew Hall. Matthew is all too familiar with the risks associated in different industries through is work experience in everything from hospitality to construction. Now, he is a professional writer for eCompliance.com. To read more of his work, feel free to visit his Google+.

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