In the world of health and safety, there are certainly some things that rarely or ever change. Case in point – some of the routine citations issued against various standards non-compliances by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Each year, OSHA tallies up the citations it has issued and publishes a list of the 10 most cited standards. There are a half-dozen that almost always make that list, and include:
- Falls are among the leading causes of serious injury and death in the workplace, and OSHA is serious about preventing them. Four of the agency’s 10 most cited standards in 2017 were related to fall prevention, including the rules for ladder safety and scaffolds.
- Hazard communication are an OSHA’s perennial top-10 citations. Without the labeling and training required by the hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), workers might not realize that the chemicals they work with every day could be causing cancer, allergies, lung disease, or reproductive harm.
- Sometimes, the best way to protect workers against airborne chemicals in the workplace is to use respirators. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as buying some facemasks out of the respiratory protection catalog and handing them out to workers. A respiratory protection program requires a fair bit of legwork to create and implement.
- The importance of lockout and tagout is essential during times when it is necessary to open up a machine or part of a process for maintenance or repair. During these necessary tasks, workers may be exposed to hazards that are normally enclosed, guarded, or otherwise inaccessible. To protect them, it is important to make sure no part of the machine could unexpectedly start up, cycle, fall, or release energy that could injure the worker. This is done by neutralizing all energy sources before beginning a task, and locking or tagging them out of service.
- There are many different types of powered industrial trucks and all pose similar hazards – primarily collisions, tip overs, falling loads, and fire/explosion hazards. The interaction of the forklift and the work environment may also create a hazard – for example, when forklifts are used in hazardous atmospheres. OSHA’s powered industrial truck standard, 29 CFR 1910.178, requires employers to address these hazards.
- When OSHA determines that a hazard is pervasive, it may create a special enforcement program, called a National Emphasis Program (NEP), designed to target that hazard. OSHA has had an active NEP targeting amputation hazards for more than a decade. Because the greatest single cause of amputations is inadequately guarded machinery, the NEP encourages OSHA inspectors to identify machine guarding deficiencies and cite them under the machine guarding standards found in 29 CFR 1910 Subparts O and R.9.
An Insight Report, published by Intelex Technologies and authored by BLR EHS Daily Advisor’s editorial team provides much greater detail regarding strategies for safeguarding such citations and a safety checklist for each. It’s an invaluable guide for safety manager.
You may download the report here: