Each year, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases their list of the top 10 most common safety violations to help bring awareness and prevention to hazards in the workplace.
Worksite inspections and alerts regarding areas of frequent incidents can help reduce claims, but some violations can end up costing companies over $1 million in penalties.
Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 violations:
The Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2021
- Fall protection - general requirements
- Respiratory protection
- Hazard communication
- Fall protection - training requirements
- Personal protective and lifesaving equipment - eye and face protection
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machine guarding
How to Prevent These Common Violations
Since 2020 and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, safety and general preparedness across many companies has improved, but there are always improvements to be made. Even a single accident can be detrimental to your business and may lead to severe injury or in some cases, death. From medical expenses to lost wages, fines, and more, it’s crucial to have safety plans and procedures in place and to ensure all employees are properly trained.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to maintain a safer work environment.
- Incorporate a safety and wellness plan — The key to a safer work environment is to create an effective accident prevention and wellness program. From the overall health and wellbeing of employees to the process for submitting reports of hazardous practice, this is the first step every business should take. Conducting workplace physicals is one of the simplest ways to help avoid an accident, as many are caused by inexperience and/or the inability of employees to physically conduct day-to-day responsibilities. You can learn more from OSHA’s sample plans here.
- Educate — A one-time training for employees is not enough to keep everyone safe. Continuous education for all staff is essential. Whether it’s supplemental training to do a job more efficiently or a refresher course on safety protocols on-site, training should be frequent. Additionally, educational safety materials should be readily available to every employee.
- Research safety vulnerabilities — Each workplace is unique and will have its own set of safety concerns. Pay extra attention to common accidents and develop strategies to keep them from happening in the future. Also, you may want to hire a professional to identify any specific weaknesses or potential hazards that you don’t see.
- Provide protection equipment — Personal protection equipment is essential and should be enforced at hiring, meetings, and followed up with monitoring. Not only should you provide this for each employee but take time to teach them how to properly use goggles, face protection, gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, earplugs, or weather-appropriate gear.
- Maintain adequate staffing — Overworked employees suffer from exhaustion and may cut corners to meet or exceed output. Hiring part-time or seasonal staff could help prevent accidents due to exhaustion. Overtime workers are some of the most common victims of workplace injury.
- Avoid shortcuts — As important as deadlines may be, they aren’t worth risking a costly and possibly deadly accident. Throughout the entirety of a project, make sure all instructions are clear, organized, and followed to maintain safety.
- Inspect and maintain all company vehicles and equipment — According to The Occupational Safety and Health Act findings, workplace-driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion dollars a year. Maintenance should include monthly inspections and repairs.
- Monitor safety measures — After initial training, reinforce safety measures at every opportunity. Implementing a reward program can be a great tool to help encourage employees to follow safety protocols. Being proactive and staying on top of regular inspections can help you identify a hazard before it becomes a problem.
- Keep an orderly workplace — An unorganized and unkempt environment can cause serious health and safety hazards. The layout of the workplace should have clear footpaths and markings, be free of debris, and have stations for cleaning up spills.
- Communicate — Encourage your employees to communicate safety hazards and concerns to management. With smart technology it is easy for employees to notify their entire company about a potential hazard.
If you are interested in learning more about workplace hazards and how liability insurance coverage or workers compensation programs can protect your business, consult an experienced member of our Commercial Lines team by calling (800) 333-7234. We also invite you to learn more about the services we provide at www.easterninsurance.com.