Workplace safety is something most industries take very seriously. Regardless if your employees are operating heavy machinery, or just serving customers at a food court, businesses must offer a safe environment or hefty risk fines - or worse.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in place to ensure that all workers have safe and healthful working conditions by setting standards and offering training, outreach, education and assistance.
Still, even with all of these precautions in place, there are instances when a procedure fails or someone gets hurt. OSHA tracks these instances as part of its focus on improving the workplace. Things like how it occurred, what erroneous steps may have led to the incident and how to improve for next time are all considered.
As part of its 2017 fiscal review, the agency also revealed the 10 most common workplace violations that happened for the year. While many of them we’re focused on industries like construction that are more demanding, there are lessons to take away from the list and important precautions to note.
Topping the list of violations for 2017 when it comes to workplace safety is failing to provide protection from falls. In construction particularly, violations stemmed from failure to provide protection against edges and slope roofs. More on this same topic was part of number 9 on the list with workplaces not providing their employees with the training necessary to recognize fall hazards and use the right protection equipment.
Not just training and rules are important, but they must also be properly communicated to staff. There were a high number of violations this year that included a failure to have a written respiratory protection program as well as failure to have written communications for hazard programs and provide employees with safety data sheets.
One of the best ways to keep a workplace safe is to train employees on how to properly use equipment. Rounding out the top violations for 2017 were issues with improper access to scaffolding and lack of guardrails on these jobs as well as wrong use of ladders and damaged ladders and other issues like using temporary electrical wiring, failure to provide refresher training for usage of powered industrial trucks and improper use of guard points for machine operations.
While there are many ways that injuries and issues can arise in varied workplaces, the best way to guarantee your workers are safe and you’ll be free of fines, is to remain in compliance.