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Standards of Safety

Avoiding hazardous situations can save distributors and their customers money.

Regulations. Nobody likes them, but everybody has to deal with them. Perhaps the most important government regulations come from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has volumes of safety standards aimed at preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace.

With these regulations come fines, and potentially big ones, for those who fail to comply. That means everybody who owns a piece of material handling equipment or sells to those who do needs to be aware. Below are some of the most frequent and most expensive OSHA violations that were reported in 2008. So next time you’re in a customer location, keep an eye out. You may just notice a fixable violation that will save them a penalty and potentially give you some business bringing them back up to standard.

Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards for the 2008 Fiscal Year

1. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)

2. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)

3. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR1910.1200)

4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)

5. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)

6. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)

7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)

8. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)

9. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)

10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)

Top 10 violations for which OSHA assessed the highest penalties in the 2008 Fiscal Year…

1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)

2. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR1926.451)

3. Electrical, hazardous (classified) locations (29 CFR 1910.307)

4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)

5. Excavations, requirements for protective systems, construction (29 CFR 1926.652)

6. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)

7. General duty clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act)

8. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)

9. Walking-working surfaces, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.22)

10. Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals (29 CFR 1910.119)

Chris File, TC/Trainer, LiftOne (Charlotte, NC)Chris File

Safety responsibilities: File is responsible for assisting in the development and execution of LiftOne’s operator training courses and internal safety education programs. This includes developing videos, PowerPoint presentations and course materials that are then taught to all LiftOne technicians.

Most frequently addressed safety issues:

  • Lockout/tagout procedure awareness
  • Back injury prevention
  • Fork installation/removal safety
  • Reinforcing importance of proper personal protective equipment

“The main goal is to constantly remind employees of proper safety procedures and raise awareness. It doesn’t have to be me or a manager reminding them either, we encourage everybody to speak up if they see a potential safety issue.”

Deneen Peak, Service Dispatch Coordinator, Jefferds Corporation (St. Albans, WV)

Deneen PeakSafety responsibilities: Peak is responsible for sending out a daily safety slogan to each of Jefferds Corporation’s 200-plus employees. The goal of these daily slogans is to keep everybody in a “safety state of mind” and aware of potential hazards.

Most frequently addressed safety issues:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment
  • Safe driving practices
  • Keeping work areas clear of slip/fall hazards
  • Awareness of surroundings

“Safety is a huge focus with our company now and the daily safety slogans are a big part of that. We want to keep safety in the forefront of everybody’s mind and in turn that will lower our number of recordable accidents and keep our people safe.”

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