IOSHA’s Top Ten Most Violated Health and Safety Workplace Standards
Is your workplace a safe and healthy place to be? Sometimes workplaces don’t follow all the necessary standards. Here are the top ten most violated health and safety standards from 2,300 inspections conducted by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) in 2010. The inspections resulted from formal employee complaints, referrals made by the media and other agencies, workplace fatalities, catastrophes and random inspections. Work sites inspected included factories and foundries, doctors ‘offices, grocery and convenience stores, and construction job sites.
10. Fall protection training
Employers must develop and implement fall protection training for any employee exposed to fall hazards (77 citations, in $31,650 in initial penalties).
9. Fire protection
There must be a fire protection plan throughout all phases of construction and demolition work as wellas the right firefighting equipment, including updated fire extinguishers (90 citations, $3,153 in initial penalties).
8. No permit for confined spaces
Before letting employees work in confined spaces, the employer must develop and use a Permit Required Confined Space program that addresses annual employee training and procedures for locking out machines and cutting off power sources (92 citations, $52,293 in initial penalties).
7. Respiratory protection
Employees must be protected from exposure to dangerous chemicals and other toxic vapors with the potential to cause cancer and other diseases as well as lung impairment and death (147 citations, $17,975 in initial penalties).
6. Fall protection
Employees must be given protection starting at four feet in general industry, five feet for maritime work, six feet in construction, and for any height when working on or over dangerous equipment and machinery (108 citations, $123,400 in initial penalties).
Electrical equipment should be free from recognized hazards that cause death or serious physical harm. Workers must have the appropriate training about safe practices and correct procedures for working with electrical equipment (108 citations, $82,266 in initial penalties).
4. Machine guards
Must have machine guards to prevent hands, arms or any part of an employee’s body or clothing from touching moving parts (114 citations, $153,361 in initial penalties).
3. General safety and health
Employees must have a safe and healthy work environment with no recognized hazards. This includes developing a health and safety program, training and protective equipment (125 citations, $123,075 in initial penalties).
Scaffolds and their components need to support their own weight and four times the maximum intended load that is applied or transmitted to them. If scaffolds are not erected correctly, the planning or support can give way, causing the employee to slip or fall (170 citations, $149,275 in initial penalties).
1. Hazard communication
There needs to be a written Hazard Communication program along with Material Safety Data Sheets and labeled containers for chemicals (310 citations, $45,825 in initial penalties.