Common OSHA Violations in Manufacturing

Protecting the health and safety of your manufacturing workforce should be your number one priority as a leader. Unfortunately, the vast array of processes and workflows manufacturing covers makes it one of the most dangerous and frequently cited industries. Keep reading to learn what the top OSHA violations in manufacturing organizations have been over the past few years, and how your company can avoid making the same mistakes.

  1. Fall Protection

    One of the most common causes of work-related injuries, falls can be prevented by setting up your workplace to protect employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated work stations, or into holes located in walls or floors. There should always be guardrails along every elevated surface, and every hole should be guarded with a railing or cover. Additional precautions your workplace can take should include providing employees with harnesses and safety nets.

  2. Hazard Communication Standard

The Hazard Communication Standard requires manufacturing workplaces to develop and distribute information document all hazardous chemicals in the facility. When done correctly, this ensures chemical safety in the workplace. All chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate, label, and create safety data sheets with hazard information for all customers

3. Scaffolding

Work-related injuries from scaffolding can occur when there’s a lack of fall protection, unstable ground, electrocution if the scaffolding is too close to power lines, or falling tools and other equipment. There are many scaffolding requirements in order to be considered OSHA compliant, but an important one to note is that each plank must be able to support it’s own weight and at least four times the planned load.

4. Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)

When workers are around or operating heavy machinery, they are exposed to hazardous energy. If the energy isn’t properly controlled, serious injury could occur. Manufacturers can be compliant with OSHA standards by developing and enforcing an energy control program, and training all employees on OSHA’s lockout/tagout requirements.

5. Respiratory Protection

Harmful chemicals in the air can lead to a number of respiratory issues including cancer and lung impairment. All workers are required to wear respirators to protect themselves
from breathing in toxic air. It’s important for employers to provide respirators that are up to OSHA safety standards and train all employees on the proper way to wear them.

6. Ladders

Using ladders in the workplace can lead to a lot of risks if not assemble properly. The 3-point rule must always be in effect, meaning that the ladder should have 3 points of contact at all times. There should also be an upper landing extension to assist workers with getting from the ladder to the surface they intend to work on. Ladder safety should be included in training programs for all employees.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks

The most common violations cited in relation to Power Industrial Trucks involve attachments (non-factory attachments are not allowed), illegible markings (for controls, nameplates, etc.), lack of training, failed inspections, and failure to wear a seatbelt when operating machinery.

8. Fall Protection Training Requirements                                        

There are many causes for falls in a manufacturing facility. From spilled materials on floors, to cluttered walkways, it’s unfortunately easy to “slip up” on fall protection requirements. In order to avoid a violation, manufacturers should maintain proper housekeeping practices, provide adequate lighting, and conduct fall hazard training programs to keep all employees on the same page about risks and hazards in the workplace.

9. Machinery and Machine Guarding

Any manufacturing facility holds their fair share of heavy machinery. But moving machine parts can lead to some pretty serious work-related injuries and incidents. Every piece of equipment should be regularly inspected, and all employees should be properly trained on how to use it.

10. Eye and Face Protection

There are many challenges when it comes to personal protection compliance. Wearing eye and face protection on the job is only part of the equation. Employees need to be trained in wearing them correctly, properly care, as well as storing and discarding.

At Catalyst Connection, we recommend using MAC Safety’s NIXN Platform as a guide for identifying risk. The platform ultimately measures your “True Risk Score” by identifying your organization’s incident probability and ways to mitigate that risk. If you want to ensure your manufacturing organization is up to OSHA standards, we’d be happy to help guide you through the MAC Safety Assessment. Contact us here to set up a consultation.