As of August 2016, OSHA fines have increase by a staggering 80 percent.
The penalty for a serious violation penalty was $7,000. Since August of 2016, that cost will jump to $12,600.
The penalties for willful and repeat violations will go from costing an employer $70,000 to costing them
$126,000. Per violation. Are you Prepared for the costs of a violation?
New rules for the construction industry represents the most significant causes of concern for the construction and contractors.
These new rules touch almost every aspect of a company’s existing safety program, including training,
protective equipment, procedures and recordkeeping.
Employers should consult with their internal safety professionals and counsel for more information, or consider
bringing in additional resources, like an outside safety consultant, to help them identify areas of weakness in
their existing safety programs and policies. Employers who don’t already have a safety plan in place should
make implementing one a top priority for 2017, or risk costly (and increasing) penalties for non-compliance.
OSHA implemented what it called its “Temporary Worker Initiative” as part of its efforts to focus more on rules and
regulations affecting staffing agency employees.
Under the new rules, both host employers and the staffing agencies now share the burden of a safe workplace. In general
terms, this means that the temporary staffing business or agency is responsible for providing their staff with
general safety training, while the host employer (i.e. the company with whom the temporary employees are
placed) is responsible for site-specific safety, including the proper use of appropriate PPE. OSHA also required
that temporary workers injured at a host company be placed on the host employer’s OSHA log.
OSHA will continue to view joint-employer cases with increased scrutiny in 2017, which means that host companies can no
longer abdicate by contract their responsibilities for keeping all employees safe at their workplace.
Top 10 OSHA Violations for Construction Companies
A list of the top ten most common OSHA violations follows.
- Fall Protection
This standard states that all surfaces on which a worker walks is strong enough to support the weight of the worker, and for any worker who works at a certain height have fall protection gear. OSHA lists this as the most violated standard. Many construction, brick laying and building companies violate these policies in some form.
- Hazard Communication
This standard dictates proper communication for toxic or hazardous materials. All employees must have access to the documents reviewing the dangers of all materials on the work site. Work sites must document employee training regarding hazardous material, and all material must be properly labeled. Safety data sheets must also be on hand to avoid a violation of this standard.
- General Requirements – Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
This section reviews the use of scaffolding and states that any scaffolding must support its own weight plus four times its intended weight. OSHA states this standard as the third most violated, which means workers on scaffolding are not as safe as they could be.
- Respiratory Protection
Many employers ignore or disregard respiratory protection, but OSHA takes it seriously. This standard requires employers to provide workers with adequate ventilation, proper mouth coverings and restricted access to work areas that are producing any type of air contaminant. OSHA appreciates companies that try to substitute materials which do not emit as many air contaminants as their competitors.
- Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment for General Use
This standard covers wiring, its location, placement, use and general upkeep. The wiring must be placed in OSHA approved locations, and cannot block certain areas of the work space. It must not be stripped and it must not be an obvious fire hazard. OSHA will cite different businesses for different wiring reasons, so reading the standard and understanding how it applies to each unique business is best.
- Powered Industrial Trucks
This standard covers any industrial truck powered by an engine or an internal combustible engine. It is a wide category and encompasses hand trucks, tractors, lift trucks, fork trucks, and many other trucks used in warehouses or yards. OSHA expects the trucks to be in good repair and all documentation for that repair to be readily available.
Ladders have many sub-sections, as there are many different ladders available on the market. OSHA expects each ladder to have the ability to hold a certain weight amount, while some ladders must come complete with safety features. Some OSHA approved ladder safety features include locks on the wheels and hand rails for tall ladders.
- The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
This standard will cover the maintenance and servicing of any machines that could harm employees when they are turned on. There are several minimum performance requirements for the use of these machines, and OSHA expects to see readily available documentation that the requirements are being met daily.
- General Equipment Maintenance
This is a general standard that inspects the installation and use of the equipment. The business must have documentation on hand that the machinery is being used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and that it is repaired on a regular basis. This standard will also review the routine maintenance of the machines to make sure the company is not placing workers on a machine that might break and harm an employee.
- General Requirements for All Machines
This standard will cover machine guarding. Machine guarding is defined as the methods used to protect the employee from the dangers of the machine during use. Any rotating parts, or any material that could fly off the machine, need to have protective gear between it and the employee to be considered safe by OSHA standards.
Our focus in the construction industry is to provide additional oversight for your construction projects that your superintendent, project manager or safety manager is unavailable to manage.
We can also assist in developing your emergency action plans and conducting drills that will enable your employees and subs to respond appropriately in an emergency. For in the construction industry time is an important factor in saving a life.
We’ll conduct onsite safety inspections/audits and compile a thorough written inspection report of our findings. As a part of being your “Safety Solution Professionals” we want to educate your employees or contractors so they don’t continue to make the same safety violations as they move from project to project and empower them to make sound safety decisions in regards to the construction industry.
We can enhance the technical expertise of your employee’s construction knowledge by having your superintendents, project managers and subs trained as a “competent person” for scaffolding, trenching, and excavations.
Our Workplace Safety Solution Professionals can provide expert training in American Heart CPR/First Aid/AED.
We’ll design specific safety programs, training and services based on our initial oversight and provide you with a viable and cost effective construction safety program.
As your Workplace Safety Solution Professionals it is incumbent upon us to provide on site training and education for your employees and subs to follow the OSHA construction standards through training and one on one discussion.
Together we’ll reduce your financial, legal, medical and workers compensation liabilities while positively impacting your financial growth and the safety of everyone involved.
Our Construction Safety Consultants will monitor your project sites for the most frequently cited OSHA violations that include the below listed:
Potential hazards for workers in construction include Falls (from heights); Trench collapse; Scaffold collapse; Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast; Failure to use proper personal protective equipment; and Repetitive motion injuries.
Call today 855-747-2327 and schedule a comprehensive safety evaluation or if you request additional information please out the following form