VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

What to expect when OSHA is inspecting: Part Two

No one workplace is the same, particularly when it involves safety violations cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, compliance officers do find commonalities when it comes to job site dangers.

The 2016 OSHA workplace violations list comes from 32,000 inspections by federal OSHA staff. On-site reviews reveal thousands of the same hazards every year, which have annually killed 4,500 and injured three million workers.

The most prominent include:

Fall protection - Ranked as the most common violation in the construction industry, 39.9% of deaths are caused by falls, according to OSHA data. The most common professions at risk include roofers, framers and home contractors. Many of the accidents occurred due to improper assembly and access to scaffolding.

Ladders - Closely associated with falls, the most common hazards involved improper use of portable ladders. Injuries also occurred due to a lack of employee training on use, specific design specifications being ignored, or structural defects.

Hazard communication - During inspections, OSHA inspectors identified an alarming number of instances where inadequate training, lack of updated data sheets, and failure to have hazard chemical exposure programs created dangerous and potentially deadly conditions.

Respiratory protection - Employees who wore respirators without medical evaluations faced possible overexposure to contaminates. Failing to have properly fitting respiratory protective devices potentially exposed them to asbestos, silica and other toxic substances.

Powered industrial trucks - According to OSHA, many operators lacked certification and training on the hazards inherent in the facility. In addition, they failed to maintain safe use during vehicle operation.

Machine guarding - OSHA's efforts to reduce machine and equipment-related hazards have taken the form of their National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Investigators have found far too many issues with machine guarding combined with improperly anchored/fixed machinery and the misuse of tools.

Electrical wiring, equipment and general requirements - In addition to unsafe substitutes for permanent wiring, inspectors found countless examples of wrongful use of extension cords, specifically in wet locations. Also, electric equipment was not installed properly and mishandled with space around the equipment dangerously obstructed.

For questions on common workplace safety violations often cited by OHSA inspectors, call VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP, at 606-618-0698.

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