All employers have the responsibility to keep employees safe. The number one way to do this is by providing a hazard-free workplace that supports good health, ergonomics, and the avoidance of injury.
Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes a list of the top ten most frequently cited safety violations. You undoubtedly have a safety review checklist you follow in your workplace. But reviewing this list can give additional ideas for what you may need to regulate to ensure safe working conditions.
Top 10 OSHA violations
The following ten violations and accompanying precautions can help you plan a comprehensive and efficient safety strategy:
- Falls during construction work. You must be able to ensure that all walking and working surfaces are adequately sound of structure and weight-bearing to accommodate workers safely.
- Chemical hazards inadequately communicated. All chemicals used in the workplace must be classified, labeled, and communicated appropriately. Employees must be aware of safe handling and be given the tools and resources to do so.
- Unsafe scaffolding. Any scaffolding and component related to the scaffolding structure must be capable of its own weight plus at least four times the maximum intended load it is meant to carry.
- Improper handling of energy-powered machinery. Any machines and equipment that could store and release harmful levels of energy must be properly used and maintained.
- Inadequate or improper respiratory protection. Employees in a situation that requires them to be in contact with unsafe respiratory conditions due to atmospheric contamination (including chemicals) must have safety precautions and/or equipment in use. This includes ventilation, respirators, or substituting less-toxic materials.
- Unsafe ladders. Any ladders used in the workplace must be able to support at least four times the maximum load they are intended to support.
- Improper handling or maintenance of trucks. Any trucks used to complete work (e.g., fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks) must be in good working condition and regularly maintenanced for safe operation.
- Inadequate fall-protection training. All employers must provide mandatory fall-prevention training for any employees who may be exposed to fall hazards.
- Inadequate machine guards. Guards must be in place on specific machines to protect employees operating the machine from hazards such as nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.
- Inadequate eye and face protection. Employers are required to enforce the use of protective equipment to protect employees’ eyes and faces, as appropriate, based on their work detail.
Need risk management guidance?
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