It is quite challenging to develop a contractor safety program as there are a lot of hazards one has to consider. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provided a list of the most common worksite violations to create awareness, allow the work sites to prepare before OSHA decides to visit, fix potential hazards and ensure the safety of the contractors.
Most, if not all, injuries and illnesses sustained from the worksite are utterly preventable. By thoroughly reviewing and understanding what the common worksite violations are, you can help in the prevention of such accidents and guarantee the contractors well-being.
Top 10 Cited Standards
Without further ado, the following are the most common worksite violations:
A database in 2018 proved that about 42 percent of deaths in the construction industry were caused by falls. Within a 33 year span, the study showed that more than half of these construction workers’ deaths did not have any fall protection. Moreover, the accidents leading to this occurred within the first two months from when the victim started work. Despite the focus and drive to prevent further accidents and deaths due to this, fall protection has been on OSHA’s top 10 list for nine consecutive years.
The regulation demands all employers to have a fall protection system in order to guarantee the contractors’ safety. Surfaces must have structural integrity, and any side or edge which is over 6 feet tall should have systems such as guardrail, safety net and personal arrest in place.
Hazard Communication Standard in the General Industry
This standard dictates that employers and employees alike are informed about the chemicals in the worksite. Chemicals must be properly labeled, especially when deemed hazardous to health. Equally important, contractors must be properly trained on how to handle them.
According to the study conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a huge percentile of the scaffold accidents were slips, scaffolds not being able to sustain support and getting hit by an object.
To prevent further accidents related to scaffolds, OSHA stipulates that each scaffold, as well as the hardware or rope which is used to support suspended scaffolds, must be verified and capable of sustaining its own weight, and 4 to 6 times more of its load.
Wearing respirators is an absolute must in the workplace. Respirators protect against air pollutants that are detrimental to the contractor’s welfare. If not strictly reinforced, illnesses such as lung cancer or impairment, or worse, death, can result as a consequence.
Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
Certain machines and equipment upon maintenance and servicing have a tendency to emit energy which may potentially harm contractors. Employers must train contractors on how to properly handle machines and equipment to minimize the risks. OSHA requires the control of such energy to minimize, if not totally eradicate, serious accidents or deaths.
Ladders as a fall risk
Ladders, like scaffolds, are ordinary elements in a construction worksite. Just as there were requirements for scaffolds, all types of ladders have set regulations as well. They must be capable of sustaining support at all times.
Powered Industrial Trucks
Using any kind of truck in the worksite such as fork trucks, platform lift trucks, motorized trucks that are electronically or internal combustion engine powered, require proper training. All aspects including maintenance, design and protection must be carefully assessed to secure protection of the employees.
Machinery and Machine Guarding
Any machine whose operation may potentially cause harm to the employees must be properly guarded. This guarding device must conform to its set standards and requirements and prevent the employee from exposing any of his body parts while using the machinery.
Training Requirements for Fall Protection
All employees must receive appropriate training on how to recognize falling hazards, how to use and maintain the control systems in place, and what they can do to minimize the risk.
Eye and Face Protection
All employees are to be protected against flying particles, molten metals, chemicals, gases or vapors and light radiation. To prevent this, all contractors must use eye and face shields when appropriate. The eye hazards of those who wear prescription lenses must have the prescription incorporated in the design as well.
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