June is National Safety Month, a campaign that encourages businesses and their employees to work together to improve workplace safety. As part of National Safety Month, it pays to learn about common OSHA violations, too.
If your business ignores OSHA workplace safety requirements, it can face costly penalties. Also, your company could suffer brand reputation damage due to OSHA penalties. But, you can avoid such issues if you have a clear understanding of OSHA violations and how to avoid them.
An In-Depth Look at Common OSHA Violations (and How to Avoid Them)
Here are five common OSHA violations, along with tips to help you avoid them.
1. Fall Protection
OSHA named fall protection in construction as the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2020. Workplace falls can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Yet, with the right approach, your business can minimize the risk and impact of falls at work.
To guard against workplace falls, provide hard hats and other fall protection gear to employees who work at heights. In addition, educate your workers about this gear and measures they can take to avoid workplace falls.
2. Hazard Communication
It is your company’s responsibility to teach your workers about any workplace hazards. Failure to do so can result in an OSHA violation. Even worse, it may lead to a workplace accident, along with an associated injury or fatality.
Develop a comprehensive hazard communication program. Require all workers to complete this program. And, keep your program up to date.
3. Respiratory Protection
Workers may be exposed to airborne contaminants in certain work environments. As such, these employees require respiratory protection.
Determine what types of respiratory protection gear your workers need. Then, provide your workers with appropriate respiratory protection equipment. Teach your workers how to use this equipment. Furthermore, verify that all respiratory protection gear is properly maintained.
Scaffolds can provide safe alternatives to ladders. However, they still present dangers to workers at heights.
To boost scaffolding safety, it is paramount to ensure all scaffolds are assembled properly. Scaffolding assembly should be done under the supervision of a qualified professional. Meanwhile, scaffold-grade lumber should always be used. Workers should receive sufficient training regarding scaffolding dangers, too.
Ladders are commonly used by workers in a variety of industries. Regardless, workers who do not use ladders correctly are susceptible to falls.
When it comes to ladder safety, provide your workers with plenty of training. Workers should always inspect a ladder before they use one. They should also keep a ladder on a stable surface. Workers should also maintain 3-point contact (two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand) on a ladder at all times.
The Bottom Line on Common OSHA Violations
Education plays a key role in avoiding common OSHA violations. By teaching your workers best practices for on-the-job safety, you can guard against common OSHA penalties now and in the future.