According to data from the Center for Construction Research & Training, construction laborers have a 75% probability of suffering significant injuries over the span of their 45 years career. Also, the probability of death attributable to work-related injuries is 1 in 200 for these particular workers. Naturally, these are disturbing figures for both workers and their employers. Simply put, the building and construction industry is one of the most hazardous fields of human endeavor in the US. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asserts companies may save upwards of $6 for each dollar when they invest in proper training and prevention of these safety risks. This is especially so when it comes to lowering costs, boosting productivity, and ensuring the safety of employees. Here then are the top 10 OSHA-cited violations for the year 2019, with the 2020 list due soon.

1. Falls

The leading factor in construction work fatalities is falling. According to OSHA statistics, falls represent over one-third of all private sector employee fatalities. To this end, OSHA enjoins building firms to fully comply with its Fall Protection Standard. Employers are held responsible to put in place policies that safeguard employees from falls related to overhead platforms, uplifted workstations, and floor holes. Among other things, this entails meticulous planning of jobs and the provision of fall protection equipment for employees who work 6 feet or more above lower levels. As for the prevention of falls, companies are admonished to carry out regular inspections of ladders, scaffolding, and safety equipment including personal fall arrest systems (PFAs).

2. Hazardous materials

The leading factor in construction work fatalities is falling. According to OSHA statistics, falls represent over one-third of all private sector employee fatalities. To this end, OSHA enjoins building firms to fully comply with its Fall Protection Standard. Employers are held responsible to put in place policies that safeguard employees from falls related to overhead platforms, uplifted workstations, and floor holes. Among other things, this entails meticulous planning of jobs and the provision of fall protection equipment for employees who work 6 feet or more above lower levels. As for the prevention of falls, companies are admonished to carry out regular inspections of ladders, scaffolding, and safety equipment including personal fall arrest systems (PFAs).

3. Scaffolding

Scaffolding safety is very integral in the prevention of falls. The OSHA Scaffold Standard dictates scaffolds as well as their components, besides their own weight, must effectively support no less than four times the maximum load without falling. Companies are required to conduct inspections of scaffolding construction on a daily basis and ensure they adhere to OSHA standards.

4. Lockout/tagout

The Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) Standard is applied in circumstances where start-up equipment may release stored energy which can harm employees. Lockout/tagout processes are designed to circumvent diverse grievous injuries like wiring shorts which shock employees undertaking repairs, employees turning a valve that ejects steam that scalds employees, or the abrupt release of jammed conveyor belts which trigger hand or arms injuries. Companies are compelled to train their employees on the right lockout/tagout processes and practices.

5. Respiratory hazards

This is yet another frequently cited OSHA violation and is caused when employees inhale air containing contaminants like harmful dust, fumes, vapors, sprays or gas. Companies risk receiving an OSHA violation when they don’t practice accepted engineering control actions for safe ventilation and when they don’t provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE). The OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard lists a number of respirator types and the conditions where they might be utilized.

6. Ladder hazards

Over half of the fatalities that involve ladders happen in the building sector according to data from the CDC. Many experts attribute these occurrences to inexperience among employees or the lack of ideal safety training. Companies are mandated to guarantee their employees are sufficiently trained on OSHA Ladders Standard.

7. Powered industrial truck hazards

Employees can risk serious safety hazards when operating forklifts, platform lift trucks, tractors or other sorts of powered industrial equipment trucks. This category of workers must be certified and fully trained on OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Standard. Companies are as well required to provide safety belts for forklift operators and ensure they wear them as they work. Additionally, loads are expected to be wrapped in plastic shrink wrap to enhance stability.

8. Fall protection

Since falls represent the most common cause of worksite-related injuries, OSHA severely penalized employers who fail to comply with OSHA Training Requirements for Fall Protection. Companies are obliged to provide proper training to workers who are vulnerable to fall hazards. They are also required to validate compliance with a written certificate containing trained workers’ names, training dates, and employer signature.

9. Machine guarding

When barrier guards, electronic safety devices, and two-handed tripping devices aren’t correctly used, employees are at an increased risk of sustaining serious injuries. Companies are required to provide employee training on OSHA Machinery and Machine Guarding Standard and guarantee guard utilization doesn’t trigger its own safety hazards.

10. Eye and face protection

According to recent statistics from the CDC, every day nearly 2,000 employees in the US sustain work-associated eye injuries which necessitate medical care. Companies are mandated to provide proper PPE that plays a critical factor in the prevention of eye and face injuries. Also, welding curtains can prevent arc flashing, while goggles and face shields deliver much better protection from impacts. Should a worker wear prescription eyewear, employers must guarantee they always don eye protection that accommodates their glasses or integrate the prescription lenses into its design. Eye protection processes must include eyewash stations and training on OSHA’s Eye and Face Protection Standard.

Eureka Oxygen is a noted vendor of top-notch welding equipment and welding supplies including welding pliers along with many other welding-related accessories.