Category: Safety News & Information (English)
OSHA’s general duty clause states, “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act. Furthermore, each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.” With this in mind, keeping up with all OSHA standards, rules, regulations, and orders can be a daunting task for both employers and employees. Two helpful resources to ensure workplaces are informed and in compliance are our OSHA 29 Regulation books.
Our published OSHA 29 CFR 1910 General Industry Regulations and CFR 1926 Construction Regulations books provide quick and easy access to critical safety guidance at all times. Clearly, this important reference will help employers and employees both quickly identify potential safety concerns and hazards on any job. In order to best serve the needs of everyone, we provide the updated books in two types of binding and in electronic formats. With accessibility in mind, perfect bound book includes 2-color tab end of the book displaying both regulation title and number. Additionally, our premium version of the book is ideal for those that take notes and highlight on their regulations. It’s bound in a loose-leaf, 3-ring, 2″ binder with tabs and it allows for easy navigation to the regulations you use most. These updated books contain all changes to the standards through January 1, 2023.
Features of 29 CFR 1910 and 1926 Industry Regulation Books:
- Record of recent edits and changes
- Most frequently cited standards
- Additional relevant parts of Title 29
- OSHA General Duty Clause
- Two-color layout makes navigating and reading regulations easier
- Includes all 1910 regulations
- 1903 regulations covering inspections, citations and penalties,
- 1904 regulations covering record keeping and reporting occupational injuries and illness
- Easy-to-find regulations changes for the period between book releases
- Easy-to-find OSHA interpretations icon shows which page and which regulations have interpretations to reference
- Contains OSHA Form 300 and OSHA’s Cancer Policy
- Most Frequently Cited Standards preceding relevant Subparts
Workplace compliance is challenging. For this reason, National Safety Compliance is working hard to help employers and employees meet this requirement and stay safe at work. Staying on top of compliance begins with being aware of all the safety standards that apply to your workplace. Which is why NSC has compiled our 1910 and 1926 regulation books. Given that there is so much information to keep track of, having OSHA regulations accessible and aesthetically pleasing benefits everyone.
Occupational hearing loss is preventable and hearing conservation programs work. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 22 million workers are exposed to damaging noise levels at work. Exposure to loud noise can kill the nerve endings in the inner ear and over time can result in permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss due to work hazards is known as occupational hearing loss. The good news is this type of hearing loss is 100 % preventable. To help prevent occupational hearing loss, OSHA requires employers to implement a hearing conservation program whenever noise exposure is at or above 85 decibels averaged over 8 working hours, or an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). While many industries have a noisy work environment, some industries have an increased risk of exposure to dangerous noise levels.
Industries with an increased risk of excessive noise exposure include:
- Entertainment/Music: noise from instruments, concerts, loudspeakers, and equipment
- Airline: ground maintenance workers are particularly at risk
- Farming/Agriculture: noise from tractors, power tools, and machinery
- Mining: noise from drills, excavating, blasting, and operating plants
- Manufacturing: noise from machines
- Sports venue: whistles and cheering
- Construction: noise from power tools and manual tools
- Carpentry: noise from power tools and other tools
- Military: noise from live fire, explosions, and aircraft noise
In workplaces where excessive noise is present, employers are responsible to monitor the level of noise exposure in the workplace, provide training and free hearing protection, conduct regular evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protections in use, and provide annual hearing exams. One of the most important components of protecting workers is training. Even workplaces that do not have dangerously high levels of noise can put workers at risk if there is a loud (but not classified as dangerous) noise that continues for long periods of time. Employees must be aware of all the risks at their workplace so they are equipped to protect themselves at work.
The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app is a helpful tool for monitoring noise exposure. It was developed by experienced acoustics engineers and hearing loss experts and is available to the public from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app was developed to help workers make informed decisions about their noise environment and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.
Protecting workers’ health and safety should be a top priority for all employers. Hearing conservation programs have several goals which include preventing initial occupational hearing loss, preserving and protecting remaining hearing, and equipping workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to safeguard themselves. At National Safety Compliance our Hearing Conservation Training Course has been updated for 2023, it will help you prepare your employees to protect their hearing in any work environment.
Hearing conservation course topics include:
- The Ear
- Hearing loss
- Types of Hearing Loss
- Effects of Excessive Noise Exposure
- Evaluating Noise Exposure Levels
- Hearing Conservation Program
- Hearing Protection
A top priority for hearing conservation programs is reducing the amount of exposure to noise. Thankfully, there are several ways to control and reduce workers’ excessive noise exposure in the workplace. First, engineering controls involve modifying or replacing equipment or making related physical changes at the noise source or along the transmission path to reduce the noise level at the worker’s ear. Next, administrative controls are changes in the workplace or schedule that reduce or eliminate the worker’s exposure to noise. Finally, personal hearing protection devices that are provided to employees free of charge significantly reduce exposure to harmful levels of noise.
Our Hearing Conservation Training Course trains workers in the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95 & 1926.52 & .101. Employees who take this course will understand the importance of a hearing conservation plan and should be able to apply its standards to workplace hazards and situations. Employers who take this course will have a better understanding of how to develop a training plan and what steps should be taken to protect their workers’ hearing. This training is also an excellent resource to train the trainer.
The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. In addition to the annual event, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, which is the violation cited most frequently in construction industry inspections.
“This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA’s fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We’re launching this program in concert with the 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and the industry’s Safety Week. Working together, OSHA and employers in all industries can make lasting changes to improve worker safety and save lives.”
In fact, any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on Fall Hazards. Reinforcing the importance of fall prevention is another way to be proactive in reducing falls. Additionally, employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals.
Past Stand-Down Participants Include:
- Commercial construction companies of all sizes
- Residential construction contractors
- Sub- and independent contractors
- Highway construction companies
- General industry employers
- U.S. Military
- Employer’s trade associations
- Employee interest organizations
- Safety equipment manufacturers
This event is open to anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace. Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity. For example, discussing job specific hazards, conducting safety equipment inspections, or developing rescue plans. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace.
OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.
OSHA offers some suggestions for a successful Stand-Down which include:
- Try to start early.
- Think about asking others associated with your project to participate in the stand-down.
- Consider reviewing your fall prevention program.
- Develop presentations or activities that will meet your needs.
- Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last.
- Promote the stand-down.
- Hold your stand-down.
- Follow up.
It is important to decide what information will be best for your workplace and employees. The meeting should provide information to employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. Hands-on exercises like a worksite walkaround, equipment checks, etc. can increase employee engagement. It is important to make it interesting to employees. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation. In Addition, make it positive and interactive. Let employees talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes. At NSC we offer resources to help with Fall Prevention Training.
Penalty Increase for 2023 Announced
In addition to OSHA’s heightened focus on enforcement, the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced changes to Occupational Safety and Health Administration civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2023. Since 2015, agencies have been required to adjust penalties and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. The purpose of increased penalties is to improve the effectiveness and to maintain their deterrent effect.
This year, OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $14,502 per violation to $15,625 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $145,027 per violation to $156,259 per violation. These increases, in addition to OSHA’s enhanced focus on enforcement, remind employers how critical it is to pay attention to their responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all employees. The ability to cite each individual violation separately could mean significantly higher costs for non compliance.
The best way to avoid workplace safety violations is an ongoing dedication to education and training. Both employers and employees must be aware of all the safety concerns at their workplace and be prepared to address those safety issues. Is your safety education program equipping your workers to keep themselves safe at work? It is helpful to be aware of common workplace hazards as well as the unique hazards specific to your own work environment. Are you aware of the top cited OSHA violations and how to address those?
OSHA’s Top 10 Cited Violations for 2021 & 2022
At NSC, our mission is to provide the tools and information businesses need to create safe, efficient and compliant workplaces. Check out all the resources available on our website.
Are OSHA violations still a major concern in the United States?
Unfortunately, yes. While it’s true that the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has played a significant role in improving employee safety standards, many workplaces are still deemed unsafe.
For example, in 2021, OSHA health and safety inspectors carried out 24,333 federal inspections and discovered that 4,764 workers had died on the job in the previous year. The industries that accounted for nearly half of the fatal occupational injuries were:
- Material-moving jobs
- Extraction jobs
We’ve written this post to assist both employers and employees identify and fix safety violations. We’ll explore the 10 most commonly violated OSHA standards as reported by OSHA inspectors and discuss ways you, as an employer, can address these concerns.
1. Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501)
According to the Bureau of Labor’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, there were 850 fatal falls recorded in the U.S. in 2021, up 5.6% from 2020. Falls, slips, and trips in construction and extraction occupations accounted for 370 of these 2021 fatalities.
You can reduce the likelihood of these incidents by adhering to the OSHA Fall Protection standard. This is a standard with two main requirements for employers:
- Provision of fall protection systems such as guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems
- Provision of fall protection training to employees working at elevated heights greater than six feet
You can fulfill the first requirement by installing appropriate fall protection equipment, and the second by enrolling workers in regional OSHA Training Institute Education Centers.
Additional information to help managers prevent slips and trips in the workplace can also be found on our website under accident prevention.
2. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134)
The OSHA Respiratory Protection standard protects workers from hazardous airborne contaminants. Employers are mandated to do two things:
- Establish and maintain a respiratory protection program
- Provide workers with adequate respiratory protection
OSHA inspectors note that the biggest violations of this standard involve non-compliance especially as it regards:
- Medical evaluations
- Securing respiratory protection PPE
- Fit testing
- Developing a comprehensive respiratory protection program
- Identifying respiratory workplace hazards
Need a bit of assistance? We’ve got a wide-range of resources to help with respiratory protection available online.
3. Ladders (29 CFR 1910.1053)
Many industries use ladders, from firefighting to construction. The OSHA Ladder Standard demands that employers make efforts to ensure that:
- Workers use ladders safely
- Ladders are kept in good working condition
- Faulty, old, and worn-out ladders are replaced
Failure to observe these requirements can lead to falls and various workplace injuries.
Violations of this ladder standard typically present themselves as:
- Employees failing to use ladders in a manner deemed safe
- Employees using broken or defective ladders
- Employees failing to correctly extend ladders to reach landing surfaces
Invest in our high-quality training courses, booklets, and posters and easily bring your teams up-to-date with the latest in ladder safety.
4. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)
The OSHA Hazard Communication standard deals with the necessity of transmitting information to employees about the chemicals they’re working with.
Employers are required to provide workers with knowledge of the chemicals they use, their hazardous nature, the correct way of handling them, and the potential detrimental health effects.
Most employers breach this standard by failing to:
- Implement a Hazards and Communication (HazCom) program
- Train staff on hazardous substances
- Create and maintain Safety Data Sheets
Fortunately, training staff on HazCom best practices just got easier thanks to our Hazard Communication resources.
5. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451)
Masons, framers, and roofing experts are just some of the people most at risk if the OSHA Scaffolding standard isn’t maintained. That’s because they tend to work with scaffolding the most.
Scaffolding, a common work platform seen across many construction sites, should be designed by a professional, erected as directed, and tested for safety prior to use.
Scaffolding is meant to provide a stable platform for workers to stand upon as they do their job, while also protecting them from falling over.
OSHA violations of this standard can be seen in the:
- Failure of employers to provide guardrail systems
- Failure to use cross-braces for stability
- Failure to test planking/decking before use
Demonstrate your commitment to creating a safe and secure workplace with these scaffolding safety resources.
6. Fall Protection Training (29 CFR 1926.503)
The OSHA Fall Protection Training standard goes hand-in-hand with the Fall Protection standard, complementing it.
This training standard is engineered to teach workers about workplace dangers that could lead to falls and the manifold means of preventing them.
Employers are obligated, under this standard, to provide employees with fall protection training so workers know how to correctly use the fall protection systems.
With our Fall Protection Training resources, imparting knowledge on how to stay safe and prevent falls is now a seamless affair.
7. Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147)
The goal of the OSHA Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard is the prevention of workplace accidents triggered by the unintentional startup of machinery.
In order to comply with this standard, employers must do the following two things:
- Develop and implement a lockout/tagout program
- Teach employees the correct techniques to control hazardous energy
This standard is most often violated when employees:
- Fail to train workers in general LOTO procedures
- Fail to establish energy control programs
- Fail to carry out periodic workplace machinery inspections
Regular LOTO training goes a long way in mitigating machinery-related accidents. Ensure your workers receive quality Lockout/Tagout safety training thanks to our comprehensive resources.
8. Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
Workplaces can become dangerous because of sparks, flying debris, and various hazardous materials. These often cause eye injuries, which is why the OSHA Eye and Face Protection standard was created.
It mandates employers to:
- Furnish workers with necessary eye and face protection
- Train employees how to correctly wear and use this PPE
For more information on how to protect employee’s eyes and faces on the job site visit our National Safety Compliance website eye safety page.
9. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178)
Industrial trucks are used across different industries and workplaces in the U.S. However, their use must be regulated and accompanied by training on safe workplace utility.
The OSHA Powered Industrial Trucks standard provides guidance on what safety precautions employers are meant to put in place to safeguard their employees. One requirement is to train workers on the proper operation of powered industrial trucks.
Prevent driving accidents and remind workers of safe driving practices with our driving safety posters, games, and video kits.
10. Machinery and Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212)
With workplaces like manufacturing plants and industries that are powered by machinery, it was pivotal to develop a standard that related specifically to machinery. That’s where we get the OSHA Machinery and Machine Guarding standard.
This standard is designed to teach workers how to prevent injuries from moving parts while working.
Violations of this standard typically revolve around employers failing to train their employees about how to safely operate machinery and avoid being injured by moving machine parts.
Fostering a safe workplace begins with training and is preserved with educational posters like our Machine Safeguarding resources.
The Bottom Line
Employers and employees have an important role to play in preventing and reducing OSHA violations. Improving the workplace and making it safer and more secure is a team affair. A careful study of these standards and examination of your own current practices doesn’t just protect your workers and save lives, but it can lead to a more functional, effective, and profitable workplace altogether.
The busy holiday season brings with it many challenges for keeping employees safe. Extra hours, increased demand, and potentially, even seasonal employees can all increase safety concerns. It is vital for employers to be vigilant in training employees about hazards in the workplace and safety protocols this time of year.
The importance of safe and healthy workplaces never takes a break. Keeping this in mind will help employers stay focused on one of the most vital responsibilities they have, which is providing a safe work environment for all employees.
The holiday season can also bring added stress to the workplace. Employers should be providing employees with tools to manage stress. While there are many things in life that induce stress, unfortunately, work can be one of those factors. However, workplaces can also be key places for resources, solutions, and activities designed to improve well-being.
At National Safety Compliance we offer the tools and information businesses need to create safe, efficient, and compliant workplaces. OSHA’s website also offers a variety of resources to assist employers in helping and informing their employees of ways to stay safe at work.
Helpful OSHA Resources:
Holiday Safety Topics:
- Crowd Management
- Forklift Safety
- Safe Driving
- Temporary/Seasonal Workers
- Winter Weather Hazards/Precautions
- Warehousing Safety
- Workplace Stress
- Young Workers
Sometimes seasonal employees are young workers and also temporary workers. Host employers must treat temporary workers as they treat existing workers. It is especially important to include adequate training for young temporary workers. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee and are therefore jointly responsible for the employee’s safety and health.
Often temporary or seasonal workers are workers supplied to a host employer and usually paid by a staffing agency, whether or not the job is actually temporary. All workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, whether temporary or permanent. Actually, the staffing agency and the host employer are temporary workers’ joint employers; therefore, both are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe work environment for those workers.
The staffing agency and the host employer must work together to ensure that all OSHA requirements are fully met. OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. This is to ensure that there is a clear understanding of each employer’s role in protecting employees. In order to clarify the employer’s obligations, including such terms in a contract will help avoid confusion as well as ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements.
All year long, employers must ensure that every worker is properly trained. Employees must be equipped to recognize and prevent job hazards and implement safe work practices. The busy holiday season is no exception, safety is too important to neglect.
Fatal injuries in confined spaces average 92 fatalities per year, according to the US Department of Labor. That’s almost two per week. Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered confined. The configuration of these places hinders the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit.
Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. Workers in many industries are required to access them in order to obtain equipment, make repairs, and perform routine maintenance.
The most common risks of working in confined spaces include:
- Limited entrances or exits
- Poor air quality
- Inadequate oxygen
- Exposure to gases and dangerous toxins (which are more likely to build up to dangerous levels in confined spaces)
- Extreme temperatures
- Structural dangers
- Risk of fires or explosions
- Electrical hazards
- Drowning risk in trenches, pipelines, or water tanks
Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces. However, the risk is not limited to construction workers. Agricultural workers, electricians, and maintenance workers are also at high risk of being injured in confined spaces. Spaces such as pits, manholes, and crawl spaces are not designed for continuous occupancy. It can be very tricky to exit these. An emergency makes escaping even more difficult. Confined spaces can present life-threatening hazards. Hazards such as toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. Exposure to these hazards can largely be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work.
By definition, a confined space is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are confined spaces. Indeed, worker training is essential to the recognition of what constitutes a confined space and the hazards that may be encountered in them. For instance, if it is a confined space, the next step is to determine if it is a permit-required confined space.
Permit-Required Confined Space Characteristics:
- Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has walls that converge inward
- Has floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area
- Could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress
In general, the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard requires the employer, to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are permit-required confined spaces. If workers are authorized to enter permit spaces, a comprehensive permit spaces program must regulate employee entry into permit spaces. OSHA provides detailed specifications of the elements of an acceptable permit spaces program.
Further, permit spaces must be identified by signs. Entry must be strictly controlled and limited to authorized persons. An important element of the requirements is that entry be regulated by a written entry permit system. In addition, proper atmospheric evaluation and testing of the space before and during any entry by workers. Further, an entry must be monitored by an attendant outside the space. Additionally, a rescue plan is required in the event of an emergency. In order for a rescue to be successful, the confined space safety plan must be quickly accessible to all employees.
Worker training is vital to keeping workers safe. In fact, OSHA outlines training requirements and specific duties for authorized entrants, attendants, and supervisors. According to OSH Online, Eighty-five percent of fatalities in confined spaces were among people who hadn’t been trained. Therefore, it is clear, proper training can save lives. In the same way, the reality is with proper training and equipment, the loss of workers in confined spaces can be prevented.
Our Confined Space Entry Training Course topics include:
- Contents of OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA
- Confined space definition
- Hazards of confined spaces
- Confined space entry procedures
- Training for entrants, attendants, and supervisors
- Acute or chronic effects of working in confined spaces
- Permit-required confined spaces
- Emergency rescue from confined spaces
- Personal Protective Equipment in Confined Spaces
This training is appropriate for any workers who will work in or around confined entry spaces. As a result of completing this training, workers will be certified in the OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA and should be able to use sound judgment and work within confined spaces safely. Thus, this training is also suitable for supervisors, and managers. Similarly, it is effective to train the trainer or as a refresher course for seasoned employees.
Preventing many laboratory safety risks is possible. In general, laboratories tend to have more health and safety risks than other workplaces. According to OSHA, there are more than 500,000 workers employed in labs in the U.S. The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Consequently, it is vital to train lab workers to recognize hazards in their workplace. Furthermore, workers must protect themselves from those hazards by following safety practices in order to address the hazards that are present. Often workers are unaware of the potential hazards in their work environment. Unfortunately, this makes them more vulnerable to injury. Many hazards found in laboratories seem easy to spot; however, many are frequently overlooked.
Common Types of Laboratory Hazards Include:
- Toxins, Flammables, & Corrosives
- Fire, Malfunctioning Equipment, & Shock
- Microbes, Plants, & Animals
- Projectiles, Heating Devices, & Slipping
Many labs are more hazardous and risk-filled than the average workplace which makes understanding the hazards that are present in this work the first step to creating a safe environment for workers. Indeed, it is vital that all lab employees understand each and every hazard of the laboratory. Knowledge and clear safety practices can help protect workers from harm caused by hazards in the laboratory.
There are several specific OSHA standards that apply to laboratories. The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) was created specifically for non-production laboratories. Other additional OSHA standards provide rules that protect workers from various aspects of laboratory activities and hazards in laboratories.
Employers’ Responsibilities for Keeping Lab Workers Safe:
Thanks to the OSHA Laboratory Standard, effective safety and training programs have been implemented to train laboratory personnel in safe practices. A crucial component of chemical education is to nurture attitudes so that safety is included in all laboratory activities. Particularly, preventing laboratory safety risks is needed to be most effective, safety and health must be incorporated into all laboratory processes. Strong safety culture is the result of positive workplace attitudes, involvement, and buy-in, of all members of the workforce.
Additionally, employers are required to develop and carry out a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP). A CHP is a written program stating the policies, procedures, and responsibilities. These policies serve to protect employees from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace. Overall, the CHP contains work practices, procedures, and policies that should provide a safe and healthy environment.
Laboratories present many challenges. It is easy to overlook worker health and safety. However, we can prevent both job-related illness and injury with proper guidance and training. With the many types of hazards found in Laboratories, safety training is especially important. In order to meet the need for safety training, National Safety Compliance offers several lab-specific training courses.
Laboratory-Specific Training We Offer:
- Orientation to Lab Safety Training
- Compressed Gas Cylinders in the Lab Training
- Laboratory Hoods Training
- OSHA Formaldehyde Standard Lab Training
- Safety Showers & Eye Washes in the Lab Training
- Eye Care Safety Game
- Safe Handling of Glassware in the Lab Training
- Preventing Contamination in the Lab Training
- Planning for Lab Emergencies Training
- Laboratory Ergonomics Training
- GHS Safety Data Sheets in the Lab
- Flammables & Explosives in the Lab Training
- Electrical Safety in the Lab Training
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) annually releases its list of the top ten most frequent workplace infractions. This list is based on the number of citations issued by OSHA, and it can help business owners and HR managers understand which safety measures they should take to protect their employees.
Fall protection continues to be the most frequently violated standard, with 5,260 citations this year. This is followed by hazard communication, which had 2,424 violations, and respiratory protection, with 2,185 violations.
At National Safety Compliance, we want to empower you to create a safe and compliant workplace. To help you to ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant with OSHA standards, we’ve put together this blog post detailing the top ten most frequent workplace violations. We’ll also provide some tips on how you can avoid these infractions in your workplace.
1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501):
Fall protection is the most frequently violated OSHA standard, with 5,260 violations this year. Though it may seem like common sense to protect your employees from falls, many businesses still don’t have proper fall protection measures.
Falls are a leading cause of injuries in the workplace, so you must take steps to prevent them. To ensure compliance with these standards, employers should educate employees working at heights of six feet or more about fall safety.
Employers should also ensure that walking/working surfaces have the structural integrity and strength to support employees. This means ensuring that floor holes are covered, repairs are made to deteriorating surfaces, and slippery conditions are mitigated.
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200):
Hazard communication is the second most frequently violated OSHA standard, with 2,424 violations. A written hazard communication program must be in place in workplaces that produce or work with hazardous materials. This program should include information on the dangers of the chemicals present and the proper procedures for handling them.
Employers must ensure that chemical labels are legible and that MSDS sheets are readily available. You should also train employees to spot the signs and symptoms of chemical exposure early.
3. Respiratory Protection (1910.134):
Respiratory protection is the third most frequently violated OSHA standard, with 2,185 violations. These standards are in place to protect employees who work in environments where they may be exposed to harmful airborne particles.
Employers are advised to provide a written respiratory program for situations where employees are likely to come in contact with airborne contaminants. This program should include information on the proper selection, use, and maintenance of respirators.
Employers must also ensure compliance with all other OSHA statutory and regulatory requirements under routine and reasonably foreseeable emergencies. OSHA also has some examples of appropriate respirators, such as air-purifying respirators and positive-pressure respirators.
4. Ladders (1926.1053):
Unlike ladders for use at home, industrial ladders are subject to more stringent design, construction, and usage requirements. Ladder safety protocols are the fourth most frequently violated OSHA standard, with 2,143 violations.
Ladder safety is crucial in the workplace, as falls from ladders can cause injuries and even fatalities. Most ladder accidents can be prevented by following some basic safety guidelines.
To ensure compliance with these standards, some safety rules must be followed when using ladders:
- Ladders should only be used on level, stable surfaces to prevent them from tipping over.
- Employees should use manuals received from the manufacturer on how to use ladders safely and properly.
- Fixed ladders should be used at an angle of no more than 90 degrees from the horizontal, as measured to the back of the ladder.
5. Scaffolding (1926.451):
With 2,058 violations, scaffolding is the fifth most frequently violated OSHA standard. With this many violations, it’s clear that scaffolding safety is often overlooked in the workplace.
OSHA has put together some general scaffolding safety requirements that all employers must follow: When it comes to capacity, scaffolds should be able to support, without failure, an employee’s weight and at least four times the maximum intended load. Scaffolds should only be erected, used, dismantled, or altered under the supervision of a qualified person. It is also important that employees are trained on the proper procedures for using scaffolds safely.
6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147):
With a total of 1,977 OSHA violations, the “Lockout/Tagout” standard needs to be improved upon. This standard is in place to protect workers from the unexpected startup or release of energy during servicing and maintenance of machines.
Lockout/tagout procedures require that all energy sources be isolated and locked before work can begin. The standard applies to electrical and non-electrical energy sources, such as chemical, mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic.
All workers who may be exposed to these hazards must be trained in the proper procedures for lockout/tagout. The training should include information on how to identify and control the energy sources, and how to work on machines that are locked out safely. By following the lockout/tagout procedures, workers can help prevent these accidents.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178):
Internal combustion engine-powered hand trucks, forklifts, and other vehicles are non battery-powered mechanical equipment. Employers must instruct all personnel who drive these trucks about safe usage and maintenance, as improper use of these vehicles has brought total OSHA infractions this year to 1,749.
Some OSHA requirements for powered industrial trucks cover these vehicles’ fire protection guidelines, design, maintenance, and use. However, these standards do not apply to compressed air- or nonflammable compressed gas-powered trucks, farm vehicles, or vehicles used mainly for earthmoving or hauling purposes.
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503):
1,556 companies failed to meet fall protection requirements for employee training this year. With falls being one of the leading causes of construction fatalities, it’s crucial that all employees who work at heights are properly trained in fall safety protocols.
OSHA has established specific fall protection training criteria to reduce the number of fall-related injuries and fatalities. All workers exposed to falling dangers while working must receive this training.
Recognizing the hazards associated with working on high platforms and understanding the actions to take to minimize these risks should be instilled in each employee through this training by a qualified person. Employers must also ensure that if an employee who has received training in fall protection does not understand or retain the required information, that employee must go through the training process again.
9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment–Eye and Face Protection (1926.102):
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for workplace safety. According to OSHA, PPE is “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against actual or potential safety and health hazards.” This category of equipment includes items such as gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, and earplugs.
One of the most important pieces of PPE is eye and face protection. There are currently 1,401 OSHA violations in this category.
This type of PPE is necessary whenever there is a danger of flying objects, chemicals, or electrical hazards. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees have the correct eye and face protection for the workplace hazard present and that it fits them properly.
Protectors must also meet requirements such as comfortability, ability to stay in place, an appropriate field of vision, durability, and compatibility with any other PPE worn.
10. Machine Guarding (1910.212):
Over 1,370 OSHA violations were committed due to inadequate machine guarding. Machine guarding is a physical barrier that protects workers from being injured by moving parts of a machine.
The OSHA requirements state that all machinery should have guards to protect workers from injuries. Machine guarding is a crucial safety measure, as it can help prevent amputations, burns, and other serious injuries, but the guards should not cause hazards.
Some acceptable guards include barriers, two-hand tripping controls, electronic safety devices, and sensor mats. These should be used with other safety measures to provide better protection for workers.
With so many violations, it’s clear that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of safety in the workplace. Employers must be diligent in their efforts to protect their employees, and workers need to be more aware of the dangers in their work environment.
Accidents can happen even in the safest of workplaces. But by following OSHA regulations and taking simple precautions, we can help make the workplace safer.
We hope this list has helped to raise awareness of some of the most common OSHA violations. At NSC, safety is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to helping employers create a safe workplace for their employees.
Are you looking to host a refresher training? Our video training kits make hosting OSHA safety training sessions easy. With our video training courses, you will receive compliance videos, lecture presentations, and printable assets. You can be sure that you will have everything you need to train your employees on OSHA safety standards properly.
You can learn more about our video training kits by visiting our website.
Last week the US Department of Labor announced an update to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Since 2010, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program has focused resources on enforcement and inspection of employers who either willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws. Or further, employers that demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the nation’s severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections.
“The Severe Violator Enforcement Program empowers OSHA to sharpen its focus on employers who – even after receiving citations for exposing workers to hazardous conditions and serious dangers – fail to mitigate these hazards,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker.
The changes will broaden the program’s scope with the reality that additional industries will fall within its parameters. Previously, an employer could be in the program for failing to meet a limited number of standards. The new criteria include violations of all hazards and OSHA standards. It will continue to focus on repeat offenders in all industries.
The updated Severe Violator Enforcement Program criteria include the following:
- The expanded program criteria now include all hazards and OSHA standards.
- Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations.
- Employers that receive failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations.
- Follow-up or referral inspections are made one year – but not longer than two years – after the final order.
- Potential removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program three years after the date of receiving verification that the employer has abated all program-related hazards.
- Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years by consenting to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes the use of a safety and health management system that includes seven basic elements.
If an employer agrees to an Enhanced Settlement Agreement they may elect to reduce the SVEP term to two years. In such cases, SVEP removal is contingent on the employer agreeing to develop and implement a safety and health management system. This must be completed within two years. It must include effective policies, procedures, and practices. These should recognize occupational safety and health hazards. As well as protect employees from those hazards. The employer’s SHMS must include at least the seven basic elements outlined. Lastly, the implementation must be verified by an independent third party subject to the approval of OSHA.
Seven Basic Elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs:
- Management Leadership
- Worker Participation
- Hazard Identification & Assessment
- Hazard Prevention & Control
- Education & Training
- Program Evaluation & Improvement
- Communication & Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors, and Staffing Agencies
Parker further stated, “It is the goal of this administration to maximize all tools available to us to ensure employers comply with their legal obligation to provide safe and healthful workplaces. These changes to SVEP will hold a microscope to those employers who continue to expose workers to very serious dangers and help ensure America’s workers come home safe at the end of every shift.” National Safety Compliance offers many training products to help businesses stay OSHA compliant and avoid ever being included in the severe violator program.