OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Machine Guarding

The importance of machine guarding is a matter of life and limb.

Improperly guarded machinery and powered motorized industrial equipment that hasn’t been effectively locked out exposes workers to any number of lethal hazards that can result in serious injuries, such as amputations of limbs, or even death.

Machine guards are those safety features connected to industrial equipment that shields or provides a barrier cover for a machine’s hazardous areas to prevent harmful contact between dangerous moving components and body parts. Machine guards might also barricade hazards such as chips or sparks created from the operation of industrial equipment. These devices protect people from injuries as they are working near or are operating equipment.

Machine guarding is included among the annual list of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) most frequently issued citations. When OSHA determines that a hazard is pervasive, it may create a special enforcement program, called … Read more...

OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Respiratory Protection Programs

It’s all about breathing easy.

In this ongoing series of blogs about the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Association’s (OSHA’s) list of 10 most cited standards, we now come to the issue of respiratory protection programs.

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.

You may need a respiratory protection program (29 CFR 1910.134) if your workers are exposed to a hazardous level of an airborne contaminant, and their exposure cannot be reduced below the OSHA permissible exposure limit through the use of engineering controls (for example, substitution or mechanical ventilation), or if workers are exposed to oxygen-deficient atmospheres. You may also require workers to … Read more...

OSHA’s Most Common Citations – Part 3: Lockout/Tagout

Downtime may be the worst time when it comes to workplace hazards.

When a machine or other equipment operates normally, workers are protected from most of its potential hazards, assuming they operate the machinery safely and as prescribed. But when it is necessary to expose the inside of equipment for the purposes of maintenance or repair, workers may be exposed to hazards that are normally enclosed, guarded, or otherwise inaccessible. At those times, it is important to make sure that no part of the machine could unexpectedly start up, cycle, fall or release energy that could injure a worker. This is done by neutralizing all energy sources before beginning a task, and locking or tagging them out of service.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) lockout/tagout standard, (29 CFR 1910.147) requires employers to:

  • Create energy control procedures for each piece of machinery or equipment that could pose a
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OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Hazard Communications

Hazard communication is one of 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.

After all, while you can clearly see that a sharp blade might cut your arm off, the link between a chemical exposure and a cancer that doesn’t appear until 20 years later is much less visible.

That said, the requirements of the hazard communication standard are fairly straightforward.

  • Employers are required to make a list of all chemicals that are present in the workplace.
  • Employers must have a written hazard communication plan that addresses all facets of compliance, including in-house labeling systems, contractor chemical safety, and unlabeled pipes.
  • Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors are required to ensure that chemicals are properly labeled. Employers receiving these
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OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Ladders and Scaffolds

Falls are one of 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.

In 2016, OSHA updated its general industry walking-working surfaces standards (found in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D) and its scaffold standards (found in Subpart I). With the exception of some requirements for updating fixed ladders, the requirements of the updated standards became effective in 2017.

Workers must be protected from falling when they use fixed or portable ladders, as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms. OSHA requires all ladders to be:

  • Capable of supporting their maximum intended load. Mobile ladder stands and platforms must be capable of supporting four times their maximum intended load.
  • Inspected before each work shift for defects that could cause
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Technology OSHA Citations You Need to Know

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
Read more...