Common Hazards that can Lead to OSHA Fines
Hazard: When scaffolds are not erected or used properly, fall hazards can occur. Protecting workers from scaffold-related accidents can prevent thousands of injuries and dozens of fatalities each year.
Hazard: Each year, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. A number of factors are often involved in falls, including unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment and human error. Studies have shown that using guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and restraint systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.
Hazard: Ladders and stairways are another source of injuries and fatalities among workers. OSHA estimates that there are over 20,000 injuries and dozens of fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction. Many of these injuries are serious enough to require time off the job.
Hazard: Slips, trips and falls on stairways are a major source of injuries and fatalities among workers.
Hazard: Trench collapses cause dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year.
Hazard: Significant and serious injuries may occur if cranes are not inspected before use and if they are not used properly. Often these injuries occur when a worker is struck by an overhead load or caught within the crane’s swing radius. Many crane fatalities occur when the boom of a crane or its load line contact an overhead power line.
Hazard: Almost 100,000 employees are injured – around 100 fatally – every year while operating powered industrial trucks. Forklift turnover accounts for a significant number of fatalities.
Hazard: Serious head injuries can result from blows to the head.
Any attempt to retaliate against an employee who has filed a complaint with OSHA can lead to larger fines, and possibly legal action against your business.
Health and Safety Hazards
Hazards are considered to be potentially dangerous substances or behaviors that can cause harm or injury to an employee. There are several hazards employees can be exposed to in the workplace. Health hazards can range from infectious diseases spread from one worker to another to poisonous chemicals that are not properly stored and maintained. For example, some industries are exposed to dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. These industries must follow specific safety procedures in the event of an emergency situation involving the substance.
Health and Safety Enforcement
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for enforcing laws regarding safety in the workplace. OSHA is charged with ensuring employers provide a healthy and safe work environment for their employers by establishing guidelines and safety standards. They investigate complaints regarding safety violations and ensure that any hazards or dangerous work environments are corrected.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created guidelines to help employers and office workers understand how certain hazards can negatively impact the workplace as well as how emergency situations should be handled. These guidelines assist companies that conduct potentially dangerous job duties or work with dangerous chemicals with following the proper workplace procedures to prevent illness or injury.
Health and Safety Programs
Health and safety programs are an important part of preventing injury and illness in the workplace. Health programs help employers and employees understand the potential hazards they are exposed to on a daily basis. Effective health and safety programs educate workers on the benefits of practicing proper workplace behaviors. For example, the “Safety Pays” program helps employers determine the cost workplace injuries and illness have on a company’s profit margin. When companies understand the impact injuries have on their bottom line, they are more inclined to implement programs to keep their workers healthy and safe.