Safety violations are no laughing matter. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records the top 10 safety violations that occur each year across all occupations. It’s no surprise that a large number of these violations occur in construction. What’s interesting is how the nature of these violations change over time.
In 2000, the most violated safety standard was the hazard standard, requiring manufacturers and employers to disclose and classify the chemicals they produce, import and use. But starting as early as 2004, a different violation took the lead: fall protection. This category, still the frontrunner in 2014, includes anything that could make an employee trip, fall or be struck with debris on the job.
Another trend stands out when viewing the top ten safety violations over the past 14 years: more than half occur due to equipment failure or malfunction. These malfunctions can cause injury on the job, lost time and even loss of lives. Let’s look at a few of the equipment-based violations that can be prevented with reliable, quality materials.
- Scaffolding. When a scaffold fails it could cost a life. Employers are required to provide safe scaffolding that can hold the intended weight. These scaffolds must be made by qualified scaffolding builders with the right design and materials for each individual job. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in serious injury due to falling or collapse of scaffolding.
- Respiratory protection. Guidelines require that employers provide protection against air contaminated with dust, gases, fumes and smoke. Having the right protection can prevent serious injury, both acute and chronic, and enables employees to stay employed.
- Powered industrial trucks. A staple for most large construction sites, these commercial vehicles can be hazardous even when they meet all design and safety requirements. The malfunction of trucks due to overheating can cause fires or even small explosions on the job. The important thing about powered industrial trucks is to know which truck to use for which job, follow all safety procedures, and be sure the truck is up to safety standards.
- Ladders. Portable ladders used on job sites must be able to support four times the intended weight and have the right dimensions for the steps in order to avoid slipping. Failure to provide ladders that meet safety standards can result in falling, adding to the first and foremost violation, fall protection.
Strong Man doesn’t make scaffolding, respiratory protection, industrial trucks or ladders. So why do we bring these up? Because safety matters–no matter what the product. Our products are third-party tested to ensure they keep your workers safe on the job. We just want to remind you that by using quality products across all areas, you can better avoid hazards and offer your employees a safe and comfortable work area.