According to the Society for Human Resource Management, incidence of the top 10 OSHA violations were down in Georgia and across the United States in fiscal year 2017 from where they were in 2016. While that is undeniably good news for you as a worker, the bad news is that workplace fatalities are more likely to result from these types of violations because they represent the most severe workplace safety hazards.
The top five OSHA violations include failures in respiratory protection, hazard communication, lockout/tagout and fall protection in the construction industry. While already the number-one OSHA violation on the list, falls may be a bigger concern than the list indicates because OSHA lists ladder and scaffolding violations as separate items, yet improper use of ladders and lack of scaffolding guardrails could lead to falls that result in injuries or potential fatalities.
One of the most effective ways for your employer to prevent future violations is to look back at past mistakes. In other words, looking back at OSHA 300 logs and conducting root cause analysis of accidents resulting in serious injuries, as well as accidents that had potential to cause significant injury, will help identify areas of concern and provide guidance to prevent future incidents.
Another effective way to prevent OSHA violations is through employee education and training. Once your employer has identified problem areas, it should instigate mandatory safety talks for all employees on a weekly basis. The talks don’t have to be long (15 minutes per week should suffice), but they should provide a thorough grounding of safety measures and cover one topic per week. In order to ensure that all employees have received sufficient training, the company should conduct a periodic audit of training records and provide continuing education for employees whose training has not been complete.
Under no circumstances should an employee ever be able to use ignorance of safety rules as an excuse, so safety rules should be posted prominently and your employer should adopt a zero-tolerance policy in regard to rule violation.
The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.