Dollar Tree (which also owns Family Dollar) was hit with $1.2 Million in OSHA penalties for ignoring workplace safety at 2 stores in Ohio.
OSHA Fines are $14,502 per violation. Willful or Repeated violations are $145,027 per violation in 2022. And that’s just the direct costs. The indirect costs can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In addition to OSHA penalties paid for safety violations it costs companies millions in lost productivity, workers medical expenses, and increased insurance costs.
The most common OSHA violations of 2020:
- Fall Protection (5,424 violations)
- Hazard Communication (3,199 violations)
- Respiratory Protection (2,649 violations)
- Scaffolding (2,538 violations)
- Ladders (2,129 violations)
- Control of Hazardous Energy (2,065 violations)
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1,932 violations)
- Fall Protection Training (1,621 violations)
- Eye and Face Protection (1,369 violations)
- Machinery and Machine Guarding (1,313 violations)
These statistics from BLS and OSHA should encourage all employers to invest in workplace safety training. One of the most effective ways to prevent on-the-job injuries is safety training. Training reduces injuries, potential fines, and improves employee morale which improves productivity and reduces turnover. All of these have a positive impact on your businesses bottom line!
Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 OSHA violations of 2022 and some practical safety tips.
1. Fall Protection
Fall Protection was the most commonly cited OSHA violation of 2020 — and it's been the No. 1 violation for the past 10 years. A lack of fall protection and proper training contributes to dangerous falls, the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
OSHA's Fall Protection standard outlines a variety of potential violations, including using the wrong type of fall protection and failing to use or properly install safety mechanisms to protect workers at height.
To prevent potentially fatal falls, you should always use fall protection while working six feet or more above a lower level. It is also critical to regularly inspect all fall protection equipment for signs of wear and tear.
2. Hazard Communication
Companies that use or store hazardous chemicals are required to communicate the health and safety risks of those chemicals to workers. To avoid injuries related to hazard communication errors, all chemicals should be properly labeled, along with instructions on how to respond in the event of an emergency.
To prevent injuries, it is crucial for employers to properly label hazardous chemicals and train workers to recognize and understand labels and safety data sheets.
Hazard Communication is historically on of the Top 10 most cited OSHA violations.
3. Respiratory Protection
According to OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard, respiratory problems can occur when workers breathe air contaminants found in dust, gas, smoke, fog, fumes, sprays or vapors. To prevent these respiratory violations and related injuries, employers must provide safe ventilation and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job.
When construction employers fail to implement correct procedures for the design, installation and loading of scaffolding, they risk receiving an OSHA citation. These failures endanger those working at a height and could lead to struck-by falling object injuries.
According to OSHA, an estimated 65 percent of workers in the construction industry work on scaffolds. By following the guidelines of OSHA's Scaffolding standard, employers can help prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and more than 60 deaths attributed to scaffold-related accidents each year.
Ladder violations typically result from a lack of proper safety training or using the wrong type of ladder for the given situation. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheet, nearly 60 percent of all deaths involving ladders occur in the construction industry.
OSHA's Ladders standard highlights many ways to stay safe when using a ladder and remain OSHA compliant. This includes not exceeding the ladder's maximum intended weight load, keeping areas around the top and bottom of the ladder clear and not using ladders on slippery surfaces without proper safeguards.
6. Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
Lockout Tagout (LOTO) refers to policies and procedures that have been developed to protect workers from contact with hazardous energy. The general concept is to de-energize equipment they will be working on and put on a personal lock to ensure nobody else can re-energize the equipment while they are still working on it.
Tagout refers to the use of tags, which may be used when a lock is not compatible. Tags provide a warning for employees, but do not physically stop the machine from moving the way a lock does.
It is the employer's responsibility to protect workers from hazardous energy, which can cause electrocution, burns, fractures and other injuries. According to OSHA's Control of Hazardous Energy standard, all equipment must be discharged of energy or equipped with a lockout/tagout device in order to remain compliant.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks
Examples of powered industrial trucks include forklifts, tractors and platform lift trucks. These vehicles should only be used for their designed purpose and must be maintained regularly. According to OSHA's Powered Industrial Trucks standard, only trained operators are permitted to drive these vehicles.
Workers should be trained on proper safety procedures when operating powered industrial trucks. Important topics include hazard recognition and prohibiting cellphone use while operating.
8. Fall Protection Training
Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers know when fall protection is required, how to use it properly and how to inspect equipment to confirm it is safe and in compliance.
According to OSHA's standard on training requirements for fall protection, all employees who may be exposed to fall hazards on the job are required to undergo training. This training should prepare workers to recognize and reduce fall hazards. It should also cover procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling and inspecting fall protection systems.
It is the employer's responsibility to keep a log of all employees who have completed fall protection training, including their signature and date of training completion.
9. Eye and Face Protection
Every year, thousands of workers are blinded by preventable eye injuries. OSHA's Eye and Face Protection standard explains safety guidelines that protect workers from eye injuries related to flying debris, chemical exposure, harmful gases and hazardous particles in the environment.
Employers are required to provide appropriate PPE that protects workers from eye and face injuries. Protective equipment may include guards and controls on machines, welding curtains, goggles and face shields. Employers should also provide an accessible eyewash station and training on how to use it.
10.Machinery and Machine Guarding
Employees should be trained to use hazardous machines properly. They should understand a machine's points of operation, exercise caution around any rotating or moving parts and use PPE and machine guarding to protect themselves from hazards while operating machinery.
According to OSHA's Machine Guarding standard, moving machine parts can cause severe workplace injuries. Safeguards play a critical role in protecting workers from preventable injuries. To prevent these accidents, any machine part, function or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.
Would your workplace pass an OSHA inspection if an inspector showed up unannounced right now?
Streamlined Business Insurance can help your business mitigate Costly OSHA Fines, Lost Productivity, Workers Medical Expenses, and Increased Insurance Costs.