We cannot completely resolve all OSHA violations simply because accidents can and will always happen. If we work hard, we can all reduce violations drastically. In the long term, this will help protect our men and women from getting injured, becoming disabled or even dying on our watch. Additionally, it will save your company money.
These are the top 5 OSHA violations to consider when trying to reduce your number of violations and minimize how much of your time is lost due to a bad situation.
- Fall Protection
- Respirator Protection
- Hazard Communications
This is an easy fix. The violations are a combination of inadequate equipment from the business owner and failure to use it properly by the employee. It is your responsibility, as an employer, to provide your employees with the equipment they need as well as mandating they use it properly and providing any necessary training.
Maintaining a consistent plan of action against failure to follow protocol with fall protection equipment will help reduce the risk of your company being cited for this violation. Additionally, regularly inspecting the equipment on a regular basis, and replacing equipment that is no longer working at its best, will keep you in OSHA’s good graces.
In second place with a disheartening 2,527 violations is respirator protection. What does this mean? Simply using a face mask that is appropriate for the job at hand. Using incorrect masks or no mask at all allows the chemicals we work with to potentially cause serious and sometimes fatal results.
Following the basic OSHA regulations on ladder length would significantly help in dropping the number of annual violations. There were 2,026 in 2021. Knowing these regulations will help you protect the men and women that keep your business up and running. Though this may be seen by some as common sense, not using the appropriate length is a problem that is easily resolved.
As you are aware, scaffolding is as necessary as having the correct materials on the job. Yet it is the fourth highest on the list with 1,948 OSHA violations. Why? A variety of reasons such as guard rails not being the correct height, midrails not being placed at all, or exceeding the maximum capacity of the scaffolding. These violations are easy to correct but are overlooked by newcomers and old-timers alike. Yes, it is easy to cut this corner, but is it really worth the extra cost associated with violations? Most likely not.
In some workplaces, it is all about location, but in this instance, it is all about communication. There were 1,947 violations of communications when it came to hazards in 2021. It’s important that containers have their necessary labels, employees are properly trained and safety data sheets (SDS) are available.
Summarizing Things Up
As an industry, we can greatly reduce the number of OSHA violations and related injuries. Regular, thorough training is a good start. The presence of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) that is in good working order, having a strict reinforcement policy for OSHA’s rules and regulations, and keeping open lines of communication are other simple steps to follow.
Working together as a community, we can improve our industry and help save lives.