The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enforcing special standards in the workplace to protect the average worker. Every year, the administration produces a list of the top ten standards that were violated the most during the previous year. It’s important for employees and their employers to remain aware of these to prevent harm in the workplace. Here, we look at the most-violated OSHA standards.
Falls are the leading causes of injuries in the workplace. Standard 1926.501 (fall protection) ensures that employers provide systems such as guardrails, safety harnesses, safety nets, toeboards, or hole covers when employees are working at heights of six feet or more. Standard 1926.503 also requires that all workers exposed to fall hazards are trained in using protective equipment.
Hazard Communication Standard 1910.1200 is designed to prevent exposure to chemicals. Employers are required to keep data sheets on every hazardous substance used in the workplace. They must also properly label each chemical as well as teach employees how to properly handle them.
Scaffolding provides a means to perform construction off the ground. Improperly constructed scaffolding can result in collapse, which can easily turn deadly. Standard 1926.451 requires the mounting of guardrails or other protection on platforms 10 feet or higher.
Lockout and Tagout
Many work accidents and injuries occur from machinery that is accidently powered while being serviced. Workers have also received electric shocks from machines even after they’ve been turned off. Standard 1910.147 ensures the use of devices that prevent machines from operating during servicing.
Standard 1910.134 protects workers from inhaling dust, vapors, fumes, gases, smoke, and sprays by making employers provide their employees with respirators. Employers are responsible for identifying any airborne hazards in their workplaces and then providing the proper respirators for those hazards.
Standard 1926.1053 requires that all ladders must be able to support certain levels of weight without failure. The standard also encourages reducing the amount of work performed on ladders by designing projects on the ground.
Powered Industrial Trucks
Forklifts are common examples of this powered industrial trucks. OSHA’s standard requires all workers who operate such vehicles to be properly trained. Employers are expected to certify that this training has been completed.
Standard 1910.212 requires employers to equip all hazardous machinery with proper guards to protect workers. This includes slicers and other machines with rotating pieces. This prevents serious injuries such as cuts and lost fingers.
Eye and Face Protection
This is the last of the most-violated OSHA standards. Employees working with flying particles, molten metal, gases, and vapors must wear protective face equipment. In the end, it’s wise to train workers to become further OSHA-compliant. This training not only complies with the law, but also further ensures the rights and safety of all workers.