As an employer, your intentions are good regarding providing a safe workplace. Sometimes, though, the crush of trying to get work out the door makes it difficult to notice potential safety problems. If you don’t want to learn about the safety risks in your business the hard way, start with the OSHA Top Ten violation list.  Look at them through the lens of your business, and take preventative steps for a safer workplace.

  1. Fall protection – general requirements. This requires the use of safety systems designed to protect employees walking on horizontal or vertical surfaces, at a height greater than 6 feet with unprotected edges.
  2. Hazard communication – This includes the development of a hazcom program, training,requirements to develop and maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and the explanation of labels on shipping containers, including how employees access and use appropriate hazard information
  3. Scaffolding – This is to protect workers at heights of  10 feet or higher, designed and loaded by a qualified person, and including guardrails. The scaffolding item also relates to objects falling from scaffolding surfaces.
  4. Respiratory protection – The requirements include the development of a program, worksite specific procedures, respirator selection and fit tests, medical evaluation, respirator cleaning and maintenance.
  5. Lockout tagout – This deals with the control of excess energy that may be released during maintenance and repair of manufacturing equipment.
  6. Powered industrial trucks – Forklifts and motorized hand trucks would be two examples of this category.  Requirements include operation and maintenance, and operator training requirements
  7. Ladders – Violations with ladders can be such things as using a ladder for a purpose for which it was designed, or using a ladder as a step. This also encompasses employees carrying objects on the ladder that could cause them to lose balance and fall.
  8. Machine guarding – Compliance with this involves securing fixed machinery, and shielding employees from hazards such as sparks, cutting surfaces, and nip points. If a fan is less than 7 feet off the ground its blades must be guarded.
  9. Electrical – wiring methods – This relates to the grounding of wiring, electrical equipment and insulation. The standard also encompasses temporary wiring and splicing, such as electrical cords and cables.
  10. Electrical – general requirements – These requirements govern the design and installation of electrical systems. Services, feeders, and branches need to be clearly marked. Adequate space and adequate working space must be provided.

Because you are in your workplace every day, it’s sometimes difficult to notice potential problems in your safety practices.There are resources available to help you prevent accidents and injuries if you’d like a set of fresh eyes to look at your facility or worksite.

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