The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released their list of the top 10 Safety and Health Violations for 2016. 32,000 inspections of workplaces completed by OSHA were conducted to compile the data.
Year-to-year the list of citations rarely changes. The inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job-hazards across hundreds of industries; any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. OSHA stated that “Over 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year while approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations, and hospitalizations would drastically decline.”
Take the top 10 safety and health violations below as a starting point for workplace safety in your facility:
- Fall Protection
- Hazard Communication
- Respiratory Protection
- Powered Industrial Trucks
- Machine Guarding
- Electrical Wiring
- Electrical, General Requirements
Falls, scaffolds, and ladders appear on the citation list yearly and it’s no surprise. Workers run a great risk, particularly in the construction industry, when working at elevated heights. As the repeated leading cause of worker deaths, employers must take these issues seriously. OSHA has an ongoing campaign to inform workers and employers of measures that must be taken to protect against falls.
There are numerous cases each year where workers lose their fingers, arms, and other limbs due to improper machine safety. Machines are unpredictable and exposure to moving parts only increases the risk of injury or death. Proper Lockout/Tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. Machine guarding keeps hands, feets, and other appendages away from moving machinery preventing amputations and worse.
Often forgotten, exposure to harmful toxins can have detrimental effects on worker health. Not nearly enough employers are providing the proper protection and training to prevent breathing in asbestos, silica, or a plethora of other toxic substances.
Powered Industrial Trucks
When an employee is expected to operate a forklift or other moving equipment, they must be properly trained. If workers do not receive proper training on how to operate equipment, they put themselves and others at risk.
Dangers are well-known in the area of electrical safety. Proper clothing and protection must be worn at all times when employees are exposed to live electrical wires. The potential risk and fatal consequences of arc-flash are imminent when precautions are not taken. Again, proper training and procedures should be implemented to mitigate risks.
OSHA urges employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which as been shown to drastically reduce costs, raise productivity, and improve morale. Let CBT help you develop a proactive safety program at your facility.
Contact your CBT specialist today to learn more about the journey to a safer workplace.