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FWIW: Top Reported OSH Violations

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#1
While the violations on the annual OSHA Top 10 list don't typically change from year to year, experts say they should serve as a reminder to employers to learn how they can appropriately apply the safety standards in their workplaces.
The preliminary annual list of OSHA's most frequently cited workplace safety violations was released at a recent meeting of the National Safety Council. They are:

  • Fall protection -- general requirements (1926.501). Total violations: 7,250.
  • Hazard communication (1910.1200). Total violations: 4,696.
  • Scaffolding (1926.451). Total violations: 3,814.
  • Respiratory protection (1910.134). Total violations: 2,371.
  • Ladders (1926.1053). Total violations: 2,310.
  • Machine guarding (1910.212). Total violations: 2,097.
  • Powered industrial trucks (1910.178). Total violations: 1,993.
  • Electrical -- wiring methods (1910.305). Total violations: 1,744.
  • Lockout/tagout (1910.147). Total violations: 1,572.
  • Electrical -- general requirements (1910.303). Total violations: 1,332.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.


Wes's take:
Not only employers, but employees need to be aware of the on the job risks and hazards and stay alert when working in such an environment. Today, at my YMCA, I saw a worker standing on a relatively unstable chair to reach and wash a high window instead of using a long pole or a step ladder. The administrator looked at me like I was from Mars when I pointed out the hazard. The worker was even more scornful, but a fall to a tile floor can still break a bone or dislocate a joint, or worse, result in death, even when the height of the chair is only about two feet - the head of a six foot man travels eight feet to the floor.


REMEMBER: this is only a list of "reported" violations - think how many more go unreported.
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
Thank you for the information. I have observed all these safety violations in my assessment visits to various factories in the Asia Pacific Region too.

I wonder why Chemical Hazards do not appear in this list.

My experience in many countries in the East is that many of the chemical hazards have not been identified and addressed. In the last one month I have come across, for example, non-flame proof electrical fittings in paint booths using paints based on volatile organic solvents at least in three factories.

Is Chemical Safety addressed so meticulously that it does not to find a place in the top 10 hazards in the US ? I am curious to know. What are the regulatory and other measures followed to ensure that chemicals hazards are addressed meticulously ?

With kind regards

Ramakrishnan
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#3
Thank you for the information. I have observed all these safety violations in my assessment visits to various factories in the Asia Pacific Region too.

I wonder why Chemical Hazards do not appear in this list.

My experience in many countries in the East is that many of the chemical hazards have not been identified and addressed. In the last one month I have come across, for example, non-flame proof electrical fittings in paint booths using paints based on volatile organic solvents at least in three factories.

Is Chemical Safety addressed so meticulously that it does not to find a place in the top 10 hazards in the US ? I am curious to know. What are the regulatory and other measures followed to ensure that chemicals hazards are addressed meticulously ?

With kind regards

Ramakrishnan
In terms of chemical hazards, one I found was almost universal - improper dilution of cleaning chemicals. The hazards to personnel came from skin contact and inhalation of lingering fumes. The hazards to equipment and furnishings resulted in:

  • etched plastic dial faces, making them unreadable,
  • peeling paint from the corrosive effects of undiluted chemicals
  • accelerated corrosion of exposed metal surfaces.
The problem has become so widespread that organizations find it cost effective to pay much more for pre-diluted cleaning chemicals in individual dispensers, paying more to package, ship, and store such space-wasting containers rather than face the workman's compensation costs for employees and accelerated deterioration of equipment and furnishings.

The problem, of course, stems from a simple human failing: many believe that "if a small dose or weak solution is effective, then a much stronger dose or solution will be more effective." The underlying root cause in an organization is poor or non-existent training of folks using such chemicals.

I had such a problem with an outside contractor back in the early 80's, who came one night to "shampoo" the carpets in our investment banking offices. He used such a strong solution of chemical in his machine that we had to vacate the offices for 3 days because of the fumes while a different contractor came in to remedy the situation with a new wash to remove the residual chemical and strong fans and long exhaust tunnels to remove fumes from our sealed window office building.

Beyond claiming compensation from the first contractor, we also had to claim compensation from the building owner which had hired the first contractor. For everyone's sake, it was lucky our floor was the first and only one to be contaminated by the first contractor. Only two tenant companies were affected. We never inquired nor got involved in the "root cause" since for our purposes, the liability lay with the contractor and the building owner. Suffice to say, the first contractor had no insurance or worthwhile assets to pursue and the full cost of reparation came from the building owner's insurance company and the building owner's deductible portion.

Our own insurance company paid us directly for our "business interruption," but then pursued the other parties and their insurance companies for repayment, so our legal involvement was limited to mere affidavits, no legal testimony in court.

As I recall, our office manager had already vacated everyone from the premises by the time I got to work at 9:00 am to face a closed notice taped to the door. She was one of those "to be obeyed" take-charge people that keep offices running (like sergeants in the military services!)

ANYONE ELSE have "war stories" involving these "common sense" safety violations which seem to defy all common sense?
 

Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#4
In terms of chemical hazards, one I found was almost universal - improper dilution of cleaning chemicals. The hazards to personnel came from skin contact and inhalation of lingering fumes. The hazards to equipment and furnishings resulted in:

  • etched plastic dial faces, making them unreadable,
  • peeling paint from the corrosive effects of undiluted chemicals
  • accelerated corrosion of exposed metal surfaces.
The problem has become so widespread that organizations find it cost effective to pay much more for pre-diluted cleaning chemicals in individual dispensers, paying more to package, ship, and store such space-wasting containers rather than face the workman's compensation costs for employees and accelerated deterioration of equipment and furnishings.

The problem, of course, stems from a simple human failing: many believe that "if a small dose or weak solution is effective, then a much stronger dose or solution will be more effective." The underlying root cause in an organization is poor or non-existent training of folks using such chemicals.

I had such a problem with an outside contractor back in the early 80's, who came one night to "shampoo" the carpets in our investment banking offices. He used such a strong solution of chemical in his machine that we had to vacate the offices for 3 days because of the fumes while a different contractor came in to remedy the situation with a new wash to remove the residual chemical and strong fans and long exhaust tunnels to remove fumes from our sealed window office building.

Beyond claiming compensation from the first contractor, we also had to claim compensation from the building owner which had hired the first contractor. For everyone's sake, it was lucky our floor was the first and only one to be contaminated by the first contractor. Only two tenant companies were affected. We never inquired nor got involved in the "root cause" since for our purposes, the liability lay with the contractor and the building owner. Suffice to say, the first contractor had no insurance or worthwhile assets to pursue and the full cost of reparation came from the building owner's insurance company and the building owner's deductible portion.

Our own insurance company paid us directly for our "business interruption," but then pursued the other parties and their insurance companies for repayment, so our legal involvement was limited to mere affidavits, no legal testimony in court.

As I recall, our office manager had already vacated everyone from the premises by the time I got to work at 9:00 am to face a closed notice taped to the door. She was one of those "to be obeyed" take-charge people that keep offices running (like sergeants in the military services!)

ANYONE ELSE have "war stories" involving these "common sense" safety violations which seem to defy all common sense?

The one I come across almost continually is lack of eye protection.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
The one I come across almost continually is lack of eye protection.
Wow! Yes! I see this mostly in small mom & pop shops - large corps seem especially vigilant about eye protection. I do notice a slackening of safety toe shoe wearing - I've tried on some of the new styles and they are much more comfortable to wear than the clodhoppers I first wore in the 60's.

Hard hats, being safety equipment visible from afar, seem to have very wide compliance.

In the medical arena, I see much more diligence in disposing of "sharps," but still a woeful job on hand cleansing. I would think medical personnel would be even more worried about contracting an infection themselves than passing on to the next patient. On more than one occasion in the past year, I have requested a medical worker to wash or don gloves before touching my wife as she underwent checkups and treatment.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#6
OSHA landed with both feet on a fitness club in my town
http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/17319223-418/osha-cites-gym-for-repeat-safety-violations.html
Essentially, the problem was ill-equipped, untrained, unsupervised employees dealing with hazardous swimming pool chemicals without adequate safety equipment or training as to the potential hazards.
Capital Fitness Inc., which operates XSport Fitness, 1163 S. Milwaukee Ave., and 20 other gyms throughout the state, has been cited with four repeat safety violations by OSHA, which claims that owners failed to provide personal protective equipment to employees working with hazardous chemicals, according to a statement released Monday by the U.S. Department of Labor?s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The citation resulted from a complaint inspection in November.

OSHA claims that the company failed to provide eye, face and hand protection for workers using liquid and other hazardous chemicals, and failed to develop and implement a written hazard communication program, provide material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals in use and train workers and provide them with information regarding hazardous chemicals in their work area.
According to Department of Labor spokesman Allen Scott, a repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Capital Fitness was cited with similar violations in May 2012 at its Fullerton Avenue facility in Chicago.
?We don?t issue $60,000 of violations for something minor, especially if it?s something that can be corrected rather easily,? Scott said.
If there was ever doubt of Deming's pronouncement that management is responsible, here's a clear cut case!

Can you imagine the corporate liability if one or more of the employees had gotten chemical burns or been overcome by inhaling fumes in the pump/filtration room AFTER the original citation?

:topic:
When I was a lifeguard at a motel pool 50+ years ago, I recall getting a one hour safety lesson given by the representative from the chemical company that supplied the chemicals AND the goggles and breathing apparatus for working with the bromine used in the pool filtration/disinfection system BEFORE I was even allowed in the equipment room, even though I never had to work with the equipment. How hard would it be to do that today with a DVD instead of a personal visit?
 
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