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Top 5 OSHA Violations and How to Avoid Them

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Top 5 OSHA Violations and how to avoid them

1. FALL PROTECTION AND 3. SCAFFOLDING OSHA Regulations: 29 CFR 1926.501 and 29 CFR 1926.451

Common reasons for this violation: • Open and unprotected side/edges especially in residential construction • Inadequate fall protection on low-slope roofs, steep roofs, holes and skylights • Using cross-braces as a means of access • Scaffolds are not fully planked or decked

How to prevent it: • Provide adequate fall protection: Pay special attention to guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall-protection systems, fall-arrest systems, positioning systems, and travel-restraint systems. • Also, include safety harnesses, safety nets, stair railings, and hand rails where appropriate • Train (and document training) employees on: • Walking and work-surface hazards • Fall-protection procedures • Personal protective equipment • How to use ladders, scaffolding, powered platforms, and lifts

Not so fun fact: In 2014, there were around 800 fatal and 260,000 non-fatal employee injuries resulting from falls.

2. HAZARD COMMUNICATION OSHA Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.1200

Common reasons for this violation: • Lack of a documented hazard communication program including safety datasheets • Lack of labels on hazardous materials • Inadequate training for employees on how to handle hazardous chemicals • Lack of protective equipment

How to prevent it: • Create and maintain a communication program regarding hazardous chemicals: • Maintain a labeling system • Provide necessary safety datasheets • Explain which chemicals are used in the workplace and their toxicity information, permissible exposure limits, reactivity, corrosivity, etc. • Provide annual training on: • How to detect the presence of a hazardous substance and how to protect themselves if one is detected, including the use of protective equipment • Potential health problems caused by chemicals used in the work place • Where to find information about hazardous chemicals (the communication program) including what labels refer to and safety datasheets • Provide the necessary protective equipment for face, eyes, hands, etc.

4. RESPIRATORY PROTECTION OSHA Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.134

Common reasons for this violation: • Lack of documented respiratory protection program • Inadequate or undocumented training on respiratory protection procedures • Lack of adequate respiratory protection equipment including if the provided respirators do not fit properly.

How to prevent it: • Inspect your workplace and identify any respiratory hazards including insufficient oxygen environments, hazardous dust, fog, smoke, mists, vapors, and sprays. • Create and document a respiratory protection program that outlines what respiratory precautions employees must take and in which areas of your workplace, and provide training on this program. • Provide and maintain proper protective equipment such as respirators and test to make sure that all protective equipment fits each employee properly. • Provide training on the use of this protective equipment. • Provide and document the OSHA respirator medical evaluation questionnaire.

5. LOCKOUT/TAGOUT OSHA Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.147

Common reasons for this violation: • No lockout/tagout procedures in place • Lack of documentation of lockout/tagout procedures • Lack of training on potential hazardous energy sources/machinery and proper lockout/tagout procedures • No documentation of periodic inspections of lockout/tagout procedures

How to prevent it: • Documenting and training on lockout/tagout procedures. Employees should be aware when they are working in an area where maintenance is being performed on equipment that is locked or tagged out. They should also be aware that they should not attempt to restart equipment that is locked out or tagged out. • Including lockout and tagout procedures as part of standard training of servicing electrical and HVAC systems Lockout/Tagout is used to prevent the unexpected startup of machinery (and therefore the release of hazardous energy). When maintenance is being performed on a machine it is “locked or tagged out”, meaning that no one can/ should attempt to operate it.

Fun fact: Using Lockout/Tagout can prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

Most managers provide sufficient safety equipment and have outlined the proper procedures for safe operations. No one wants their team members or other employees to get hurt. Most of the time, the reason managers receive citations is due to insufficient documentation and training. Providing training OSHA requires that each employer maintain the following in their records: the identity of the employee, the date of training, and the means used to verify that the employee understood the training. You’ll also need to document whether they’ve received the required refresher training. Documenting programs, plans, and procedures You’ll also need a place to document your programs, plans, and procedures where employees can easily access them.