Business owners, managers, and floor supervisors highly value a safe working environment. When safety regulations aren’t followed, it can lead to costly fines and penalties and employee injuries. If the severe violation is severe, your company may temporarily shut down. If you’re unsure of what constitutes an OSHA violation or how to avoid one, this article can help.
To put it another way, anything that puts workers at risk of harm constitutes an OSHA violation. If safety protocols are ignored, even minor cuts and scrapes can be violated. OSHA training is the best way to keep your employees safe, but where do you begin?
There are multiple types of OSHA violations; not all will apply to your industry. However, some offences are more common than others and affect all businesses, regardless of industry, irrespective of how large or small they may be.
Here are the most common OSHA violations and how to avoid them so businesses can keep their employees safe and avoid OSHA fines and penalties.
Approximately 300,000 workers are injured each year due to workplace falls. Slips and falls are more common at construction sites, but they can occur at any workplace. There are things that businesses can do to make their workers safer and less prone to accidents.
- Maintains the cleanliness of the floors and aisles.
- Provide adequate lighting and post signs alerting workers to any potential dangers.
- Oblige all employees to wear footwear that OSHA has approved.
- Inspect ladders, scaffolding, and other potentially dangerous areas regularly.
Standard for Hazardous Communication
All companies must have a four-part hazard communication plan to meet OSHA compliance standards. Programs for preventing accidents help ensure workers’ safety and hold them responsible for any accidents.
- Create a safety and communication plan in writing.
- Put up the appropriate signs and labels to alert people to the danger.
- Prepare material safety data sheets using datasheets.
- Employees should be educated in all aspects of hazardous communication.
Companies can avoid OSHA fines by educating employees on the meanings of the various hazard communication labels and how to identify harmful chemicals. Employees are also taught about the current safety procedures in place by businesses.
OSHA requires respiratory protection for all employees who work with hazardous chemicals or other materials. Toxic fumes and particles can impair lung function or cause certain cancers and other diseases if inhaled by workers. Respirators prevent this.
Respirators are most effective when specifically designed for the task at hand. Those who work with hazardous chemicals should wear airline respirators rather than Particulate Respirators.
The use of scaffolding at construction sites and warehouses is daily, as it aids workers’ access to higher levels. All employers must follow OSHA scaffolding safety regulations to ensure the safety of their employees.
- If the scaffolding is taller than ten feet, it must have guardrails.
- Keep an eye out for gaps in the planks and decking that could lead to employees tripping and falling.
- To avoid injuries caused by jumping off the platform, always use ladders or step stools to get on and off the forum.
- To prevent the scaffolding from tipping over, always place it on a solid and level surface.
Clean and fully functional ladders are required to avoid OSHA violations and penalties. When the ladder is open, the rungs must be level, and the locking mechanism must be fully engaged. Use ladders on level ground at all times. It’s also a good idea to have two people with you when climbing a ladder, just in case.
Hazardous energy is a term that describes the power that machines, and other equipment emit. Steps businesses can take to avoid this OSHA violation can be found in Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) protocols.
- When not in use, ensure all equipment is locked and disengaged to prevent leakage of dangerous energy. Companies can take the following measures:
- Ensure all employees are trained in adequately using equipment and machines through a LOTO program.
- Inspect all machinery, old and new, regularly.
- Avoid purchasing low-quality equipment, as it may not meet OSHA safety regulations.
Forklifts are among the most frequently cited OSHA violations. Construction, manufacturing, and storage facilities all use this equipment. Forklift safety and avoiding costly fines can be achieved by following these guidelines:
- Forklift training should be mandatory for all employees who operate the vehicle.
- Forklifts should only be used in designated areas, and these areas should be marked.
- Require forklift operators to hold a valid license.
OSHA may cite businesses that use scaffolding without requiring their workers to undergo fall protection training. Fall protection has four levels, and employees must be aware of each.
- Be aware of possible dangers.
- To use the scaffolding, you must be a registered user.
- Be able to work safely at a height.
- Make sure you’re knowledgeable about fall protection.
OSHA mandates that employers keep documentation of all employee training.
OSHA requires all workers to wear eye and face protection when exposed to environmental, chemical, or radiological hazards. As a result, all staff members must be trained to properly use and dispose of hazardous materials.
Companies are also interested in installing eyewash stations in high-risk areas. In addition, employees should be taught how to administer first aid and use safety gear.
An employee could be injured by machinery that has moving parts. To avoid OSHA fines, follow these instructions:
- Safety guards should protect the machines.
- Ensure that all the guards are not in danger of pinching themselves.
- Create a safety training program for your workers.
- Maintain and replace all machine safety guards as needed.
As a result, reducing OSHA violations in the workplace helps to prevent workplace injuries. It also reduces the risk of costly fines and penalties for a company. Workplace safety takes time and effort, but we support you. Please contact Safety Counselling if you are interested in developing a safety training program for your workplace.