Safety Violations At Your Work

Now that Thanksgiving is over, most people have started holiday shopping. In accordance with the spirit of “Top__ List,” we have made our own safety list: Top 5 Most Quoted Standards per OSHA.

These Standards are so common in most industrial work environments that it’s easy to become comfortable and forget the safety guidelines. Because safety is your responsibility and cuts back dramatically on worker’s comp it behooves everyone to be sure that these standards are upheld. According to the Bureau Labor and Statistics (BLS) there were 4,547 Fatal Work Injuries in 2010. That is too many lives lost due to neglect and accidents. If we all do our part and take responsibility for safety we will see these numbers decline.

First on the list is Scaffolding and Fall Protection is second. Even though scaffolding is possibly an everyday occurrence in your line of work, safety still needs to be a priority. Of the over four thousand fatal work injuries, 14% were due to falls. While this number is down from 2009, think what the number could have been. The BLS sites 45 people died due to scaffolding. OSHA sites a study done by the BLS that 72% of workers injured in scaffolding accidents fault planking, support and falling debris as the reason for the injury.

Everybody should feel safe if they are working in an environment that could result in a fall. If you do not feel safe then don’t risk your life. Being certain that you are properly anchored and that the platform you are walking on is an adequate size and of proper strength is imperative. Don’t be counted amongst the statistics, you deserve a safe work environment.

Hazard Communication this is more than a tad discomforting that the #3 offense OSHA sees most often is that people are not communicating in regards to Hazardous Material! Yes there are MSDS sheets everywhere and always available for you to read over. What good will an MSDS do if you don’t know what type of hazardous material you are handling?

Dealing with hazardous material is more than a little inconvenient but all those rules and regulations are in place for your safety. Please actually READ the MSDS sheets, and please actually WEAR all required safety gear. Remember, there are no stupid questions, if you are unsure of a particular hazardous material or hazard container, ask!

Respiratory Protection is #4 on OSHA’s list of most violated standards. Respiratory masks are a pain, and they are not designed for comfort, but they are designed when worn properly to save your life! According to OSHA, there are 5 million workers (that includes YOU) that have to wear a respirator to work. On your next fit test take the new sizing and go and change out your masks. If you tested better on a different type of mask, switch yours out. Let’s all take safety into our own hands and make it a priority.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is the final violator. The devastating fact on LOTO is that of the over 2 million workers that service equipment there are over 115 deaths each year and over 45,000 non-fatal injuries. Simply following proper procedure for servicing and operating these pieces of equipment would save a lot of lives. In addition the workers would get more money as it typically takes almost an entire month to recoup from an LOTO injury!

It seems that the most obvious safety hazards are the ones most overlooked. As a worker you become comfortable with your working environment and when you get too comfortable, you tend to let safety slide. All it takes is for one person to say something and it could save a life. Remember Safety is YOUR Responsibility, and YOU are worth protecting!