All manufacturers must stay compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA guidelines, a set of rules for ensuring safety. It’s necessary to be aware of the rules so you can avoid violating them at the manufacturing units.
OSHA releases an annual report of its top violations. The aim is to reduce the number of violations across industries.
Compliance with OSHA rules is mandatory. Any violations of the rules are subject to penalties or financial compensations.
The OSHA rules ensure that every manufacturer prioritizes worker safety at all times. By protecting their rights, OSHA helps the labor to earn wages in a safe environment. Businesses, too, can reduce their work-related injuries and deaths by following OSHA guidelines.
What is OSHA?
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a regulatory organization, with government authorization to oversee manufacturing practices at manufacturing plants throughout the country. The body’s main aim is to ensure compliance with certain safety regulations.
OSHA has a few responsibilities of its own: overseeing the manufacturing processes at the plants, highlighting the risk areas or practices that could lead to harm, and training workers and employers in ensuring foolproof safety at the plants.
Any employer found guilty of disregarding or violating the rules of workers’ safety is liable to pay compensations. Certain manufacturers still use asbestos in their manufacturing processes. The chemical agent is extremely harmful and causes a rare and terminal form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
If you have been wrongfully exposed to asbestos, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma attorney and file for compensation.
Top OSHA Violations in Manufacturing
Now, we will further discuss the top OSHA violations in the manufacturing industry.
- Availability of Personal Protective Equipment
Manufacturers should provide their workers with personal protective equipment for keeping safe from any hazardous chemicals or biological agents.
Working in industries without using personal protective equipment can lead to severe respiratory tract infections. Safety professionals first determine the type of PPE needed for their workers based on an assessment of the working conditions. Each manufacturing plant can be unique in terms of the kind of safety that is required. There is no cookie-cutter approach that will fit one PPE for all types of settings.
Some work settings may require workers to wear advanced protection than others. A thorough assessment beforehand can go a long in terms of getting your workers the proper PPE equipment.
Further, it is also the employers’ responsibility to educate the workers on proper PPE maintenance and train employees on how to wear them.
The downside of not adhering to proper protocol in this regard may result in respiratory infections.
One of the top violations of OSHA is the non-availability of PPE, a violation that has to be strictly dealt with as it directly endangers the workers.
Another precautionary measure that can be taken in this regard is to allow the workers as many breaks during work as possible. It reduces the amount of hazardous exposure that workers have to face.
- Lack of Hazard Communication
Another major OSHA violation is the lack of hazard communication. Workers in an industrial setting should have an in-depth knowledge of their work conditions.
They need to be educated and made aware of the toxic and dangerous chemicals that they will come in contact with on a regular basis.
Employers should inform the workers when handing them harmful chemicals to work with. If they do not know that they are handling hazardous substances, they will fail to take the necessary precautionary measure while working, leading to considerable damages.
In order to avoid the violation, all manufacturing units should provide detailed information about the hazardous chemicals involved in the manufacturing processes. Employers should also hold training sessions, seminars, or workshops to educate the employees on proper handling of harmful substances.
Awareness of the chemical hazards and the training to deal with them can help the workers remain safe and saves the manufacturers from paying hefty fines, penalties, or compensations to the affected.
- Guarding Machines
Working in an industrial setting means operating large machinery. The job comes with its own set of life dangers.
OSHA makes it mandatory for the industrial units to ensure sufficient machine guarding in order to avoid any unfortunate incident. A wide range of machinery employed at the assembly lines that either generate sparks or has cutters and saws.
OSHA instructions clearly direct the manufacturers to make operating such machinery safe for the workers. Manufacturing units are always committing such violations to the detriment of the workers.
It is recommended that the manufacturers install proper functioning machinery. Bad machine units do more harm than good and are a drain on efficiency.
Further, it is also recommended that the workers get sufficient training on operating the machinery.
- Fall Protection
Fall Protection is among the major safety precautions that all manufacturing units must adopt. Most manufacturing facilities fail to provide sufficient fall protection for their employees, leading to a number of work-related injuries.
Manufacturers should make appropriate arrangements to protect their employees against any potential falls from elevated surfaces.
Shielding all the floor holes to keep employees from accidentally falling into them is another significant measure that must be ensured by all employers at the worksites.
In addition, employers can install guardrails or balustrades to make sure that an employee doesn’t fall into some machine that could result in their immediate death.
It is better to invest in the safety of your employees than to pay hefty penalties for your negligence or to jeopardize the reputation of your business.
Running a manufacturing business requires strict adherence to the OSHA regulations. The safety measures discussed above will help your business thrive and protect the lives of your employees. Keep a close eye on all the violations annually listed by OSHA to minimize the workplace risks within your industrial facility. The ease that technology offers always carries with it a number of hazards, and these potential hazards must be avoided at all costs. Neglecting any one of the guidelines of OSHA can make you face severe consequences.