OSHA Fined Discount Retailer $3.3M

OSHA Cited Discount Retailer $3.3M Penalties

MOBILE, AL – As the nation’s largest discount retailer, Dollar General stores are widely available in 46 states for their low-price merchandise. Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dolgencorp LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dollar General Corporations. It operates about 17,000 stores and 17 distribution centers around the nation and employs more than 150,000 workers. In September 2021, the company announced plans to open its first Idaho store and expand its presence to 47 states. However, the company has a long history of violations and repeated failures to protect its workers from on-the-job hazards. Since 2016, OSHA has proposed more than $3.3 million in penalties from over 54 inspections at Dollar General locations nationwide.

The Company Faces $321K in Penalties After Recent Alabama Inspection

In June 2021, an OSHA inspection at the retailer’s Alabama store found the main storeroom too disorderly to allow a safe exit during an emergency. Additionally, workers were exposed to slip and trip hazards, the dangers of being struck by falling boxes, and the lack of access to electrical panels. As a result, OSHA identified three repeat violations in this inspection and proposed $321,827 in penalties.

“Dollar General has a long history of disregarding safety measures to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a fire or other emergency. This company’s troubled history of workplace safety violations must end. OSHA will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures,” said Assistant Secretary for OSHA Doug Parker.

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance.

Key Takeaways

In summary, the risk is available in any workplace; however, to avoid becoming complacent with health and safety procedures is essential. Scheduling regular workplace health and safety training can positively influence an organization’s efficiency, productivity and save lives. A safe work environment helps employers build a good relationship with their employees and supports businesses in achieving higher recognition.

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Resources and Useful Information

 

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Queens Contractor Failed to Provide Fall Protection Safeguards

A New York Contractor Failed to Provide Lifesaving Fall Protections

Queens, NY – A federal workplace safety investigation has found a construction contractor failed to provide and ensure the use of effective fall protection safeguards. OSHA  conducted the investigation following the death of a worker during the demolition of the Brooklyn building last year.

OSHA’s investigators also determined that the contractor failed to train its workers to recognize and avoid fall hazards. This has caused a worker who engaged in demolishing a building at 1045 Flatbush Ave. to fall 60 feet.

The Citations and Penalties

OSHA cited Richmond Construction Inc. for nine willful, repeat, and six serious violations of workplace safety standards. As a result, the agency is seeking penalties totaling $374K. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

The Queens construction contractor failed to provide fall protection safeguards that would have prevented the worker’s death, according to the agency. In summary, OSHA determined that Richmond Construction failed to:

  • Provide employees with effective fall protection and fall protection training.
  • Have a competent person inspect the roof, lifeline systems, and fall arrest harnesses before the employees started work. A competent person has the knowledge to spot hazards and the authority to correct them.
  • Have a qualified person supervise the design, installation, and use of the horizontal lifeline.
  • Ensure the lifeline system was capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds.
  • Ensure employees did not connect their fall protection lanyards to anchor points below their harness rings.
  • Provide eye and ear protection to employees operating jackhammers.

“Richmond Construction Inc. ignored its legal responsibility to protect workers from falls and the result was the loss of a worker’s life. Complying with OSHA standards is not optional. It is required to ensure workers return home unharmed at the end of the day,” said OSHA Area Director Kay Gee in New York City. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

Fall Protection Training requirements are Osha’s Seventh Most Frequently Cited Standard

In conclusion, falls are the number one killer of construction workers. In addition, for the 11th consecutive fiscal year, OSHA’s fall protection  (29 CFR 1926.501) remains the agency’s most frequently cited standard. At the same time, the Fall Protection Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503) is the agency’s seventh most frequently cited standard in FY 2021. Thus, employers should have a competent person training and supervising the workplace, ensuring workers are aware of fall hazards.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection training. Learn more on VR curriculums developed by subject matter experts. The VR curriculums are able to raise awareness about the risks and preventive measures against fall accidents. Furthermore, it provides an effective and engaging way to practice and validate safety requirements without stopping production.

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 Resources and Useful Information on Fall Protection
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Safety and Compliance Requirements for Forklifts

Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks, are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. Forklifts can also be used to raise, lower, or remove objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers. Powered industrial trucks can either be ridden by the operator or controlled by a walking operator. Over-the-road haulage trucks and earth-moving equipment that has been modified to accept forks are not considered powered industrial trucks. OSHA has extensive safety and compliance regulations for forklift design and maintenance, operations, and training to be followed by employers. There are also additional requirements that depend on the classification of a forklift and its use. Businesses that use forklifts should adhere to safety and compliance requirements for operating forklifts.

Violations of the Powered Industrial Trucks are Consistently on the OSHA Top Ten Most Frequently Cited Safety and Health Violations

Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the top ten most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Violations of the Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) are consistently on the list; and were ranked 7th for the FY2020. Several thousand injuries related to forklifts occur in U.S. workplaces every year.

According to OSHA, tip-overs are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts, representing about 25% of all forklift-related deaths. Common forklift problems that lead to worker injuries include three directly related to employer compliance and two related to driver responsibilities. Employer compliance issues include:

  • Failure to provide or inadequate operator training;
  • Failure to provide or ensure the use of seat belts; and
  • Defective equipment that is not taken out of service.

Common problems that relate to worker responsibilities include:

  • Failure to conduct regular inspections before operation; and
  • Driving in an unsafe manner.

This article will focus on general compliance tips on the OSHA requirements for forklift, reach trucks, order pickers, and other powered industrial trucks.

OSHA requirements for Forklift, Reach Trucks, Order Pickers, and other Powered Industrial Trucks
  • The employer must assess the types of equipment used. Any equipment with cargo and driver is a “powered industrial truck.” The regulations apply to forklifts, powered pallet jacks, order pickers, reach trucks, and powered pallet jacks.
  • The employer’s safety program must be specific to the workplace. Assessment of the workplace is a must to identify hazards and provide guidance to operators during training. The assessment would include elevated storage, low ceilings, uneven surfaces, high noise areas, oversize loads, and use of attachments such as drum clamps or fork extensions.
  • Safety equipment must be available and be properly maintained. Fall protection equipment must meet OSHA standards, and workers must be trained in its inspection and use. Platforms for elevating workers using the equipment must have guardrails and toe boards. Flushing of the eyes and body must be available where batteries are charged.
  • A program of daily equipment inspection must be implemented. Powered Industrial Lift Trucks and fall protection equipment must be properly maintained by the employer and inspected by the operator before each shift. Each piece of equipment must have its maintenance logs. If at any time a powered industrial truck is found to need repair, defective, or in any way unsafe, the truck shall be taken out of service until it is restored to safe operating condition.
  • Operators must be trained in safety procedures and licensed. Only authorized, trained, and certified drivers may operate the equipment. Drivers must be trained in how the machine works, operating skills, inspect and maintain the equipment, and any unique work hazards. There are two general types of powered industrial trucks: electric (battery) powered and internal combustion engine (gas/LPG/diesel) powered. Each of these general types has a variety of different configurations and attachments. For electric-powered equipment, drivers must be trained in battery charging safety. For equipment powered by propane, gasoline, or diesel, drivers must be trained in fueling safety, fuel storage, and fire prevention.
  • Drivers must demonstrate proficiency in inspection and operation. It is a violation of Federal law for anyone UNDER 18 years old to operate a forklift or for anyone OVER 18 years old who is not properly trained and certified to do so. Each operator must have their operation of a Powered Industrial Lift Truck evaluated by a competent person, and the results given to the employee and supervisors. The employer shall certify that each operator is well trained and assessed as required. The certification shall include the operator’s name, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or assessment. The driver’s performance must be assessed individually in writing no less than every three years.Safety and Compliance Requirements for Forklifts
  • Retraining is needed when the workplace or equipment changes. Most companies schedule periodic retraining for their operators. An evaluation of each operator’s proficiency and knowledge must occur no less than every three years and lead by a competent person. Retraining is mandatory when the workplace changes, the equipment changes, the operator involved in an accident or near-miss incident, or an evaluation of the employee’s vehicle operation shows deficiencies.
  • A written program of compliance must be maintained. The employer must keep written records of all procedures, maintenance, disciplinary actions, equipment inspections, and training activities. The program should be evaluated periodically to ensure that it is effective.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace safety training.

Other Useful Resources

OSHA Safe Forklifts Operation Quick Card 

Sample Daily Checklists for a variety of Powered Industrial Trucks 

Sample Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks

Maintenance and Operation Compliance Tips for Employers

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OSHA Cites Refinery $259K for 20 Violations

Guaynabo, PR A St. Croix refinery faces $259,407 in proposed OSHA penalties after the agency cited the company for 20 violations. Earlier in February and May, the refinery releasing oil and vapor into the air and fiery flares led to an OSHA investigation.

OSHA Cites Refinery $259K for 20 Violations

The Violations and Citations

Subsequently, OSHA concluded that Limetree Bay Refining LLC’s refinery failed to meet federal workplace chemical safety standards and endangered workers based on the investigation. The agency has determined that Limetree Bay Refining did not fulfill the following:

  • Compile all necessary information on process equipment and technology, including relief system design, safe operating limits, and consequences of deviation from those limits.
  • Evaluate and implement controls to manage process hazards adequately.
  • Complete a pre-startup safety review.
  • Prevent process equipment from operating in deficient condition.
  • Inspect process equipment adequately before returning it to service and introducing hazardous chemicals to the process.
  • Develop and implement operating procedures to address conditions that deviate from normal operations. Inspect process equipment adequately before returning it to service and introducing hazardous chemicals to the process.
  • Develop and implement operating procedures to address conditions that deviate from normal operations.

In addition to OSHA’s PSM and other safety standards, petroleum refineries are also subject to EPA regulations. The EPA cited Limetree Bay Refining on April 30th and June 16th for Clean Air Act (CAA) violations; and issued a CAA Section 303 order on May 14th, pausing the refinery’s operations. Later on July 12th, the Department of Justice announced the refinery had agreed to EPA’s requirements regarding the refinery’s shutdown. Limetree Bay was no longer in operation and did not intend to restart the refinery.

Complying with OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard Reduces Risks

“The increasing number of severity release incidents at the refinery indicated Limetree Bay Refining LLC was putting workers at risk by permitting serious deficiencies that exist within its process equipment and inadequate process safety management programs.” Alfredo Nogueras, OSHA’s Guaynabo, Puerto Rico area office director, said in an agency statement.  “There are inherent hazards facing workers in facilities that process large quantities of flammable and toxic chemicals at high temperatures and pressures. Complying with OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard reduces those risks and protects workers,” he continued.

OSHA has a National Emphasis Program to enforce its PSM standard, including petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturing, and facilities producing explosives and pyrotechnics. The agency has a rulemaking intended to modernize the standards to prevent major chemical accidents.

Incidents at refineries are also investigated by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The CSB makes recommendations to the EPA, OSHA, facility operators, and standard-setting organizations. Currently, CSB has 14 open recommendations for OSHA to address.

Key Takeaways

In summary, risk can be found in any workplace; however, to avoid becoming complacent with health and safety procedures is essential. Scheduling regular workplace health and safety training can positively influence an organization’s efficiency and productivity, thus reducing costs and saving lives.

Learn more on Martin Technical’s VR curriculums, developed by subject matter experts, to raise awareness about the risks and preventive measures against accidents on the oil and gas platform (FPSO). It provides an effective and engaging way to practice and validate safety requirements without stopping production. VR is also a cost-effective tool for simulating realistic and hazardous working environments to create memorable and interactive learning opportunities in a safe virtual environment.

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Martin Technical Redefines Safety Learning with Immersive Technology

WESTMINSTER, CO – November 23rd, 2021

Martin Technical, Inc., a leading provider of workplace safety solutions and consulting services, is pleased to announce that it has teamed up with extended reality solutions provider, PIXO, to provide an immersive safety learning experience via virtual reality (VR).

The VR Safety Training is part of Martin Technical’s blended learning solutions, which consist of on-site training, hands-on validation, online learning, webinars, and toolbox talks. VR is a cost-effective tool for simulating realistic hazardous working environments to create memorable, interactive learning opportunities in a safe virtual environment. The VR-based immersive training enhances safety training programs across various industries to better onboard, re-skill, or upskill their workforce in essential safety protocols that reduce risk and liability to the organization. Martin Technical’s VR curriculums, developed by subject matter experts, provide an effective and engaging way to practice and validate safety requirements without stopping production.

Martin Technical Redefines Safety Learning with Immersive Technology

PIXO makes virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies more effortless to use and scale than ever before. Its teams of award-winning VR engineers, developers, and training experts are dedicated to making the VR applications with Apex, PIXO’s groundbreaking content distribution, management, and analytics platform. It has never been easier for organizations to access, distribute, and manage VR applications across numerous endpoints and thousands of users and devices. Download content directly to headsets for a superior end-user experience for trainees, students, patients, clients, and customers.

About Martin Technical

Martin Technical is a leading provider of practical safety and efficiency services that make industrial plants and facilities better, safer, and more efficient. Our experts can help simplify the complex by applying real-world solutions for Lockout Tagout, Arc Flash, Electrical Safety, Risk Assessments, Training, Machine Safety & Safety Consulting Services.

To learn more, please visit www.MarTechnical.com, call 866-234-6890, or email Sales@MarTechnical.com.

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Wisconsin Foundry Faces $200K Fines

MARINETTE, WI – The recent federal safety inspections of a northern Wisconsin foundry determined workplace safety failures caused two workers to suffer severe injuries.  In May, a worker lost two fingers to amputation and in July, an overhead hot metal carrier struck and injured another worker. US Department of Labor proposes $200K in fines for the foundry. The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC. Waupaca Foundry Inc. is a leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets.

A-Wisconsin-foundry-faces-200k-Fines
A Total of Three Inspections Led to Penalties of $200K

While OSHA investigated the incident at Waupaca Foundry Inc. in Marinette, the agency opened a second scheduled inspection under its National Emphasis Program for Primary Metals. Inspectors found violations related to exposures to respirable crystalline silica and noise. The employer reported the July 17 injury to inspectors during the second inspection, which led to a third inspection. After completing the three inspections, OSHA issued one willful, seven serious, and five other-than-serious violations to Waupaca Foundry. The proposed penalties are $200,895.

The Violations

OSHA determined that a lack of energy control procedures, commonly known as lockout/tagout, exposed workers to hazards in both incidents. OSHA cited the following violations:

The foundry industry had a 6.4 percent rate of injury in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the foundry industry had a 6.4 percent injury rate for every 100 workers in 2020.  “Foundries are inherently dangerous industrial operations. The workers are exposed to hazards from machinery, trips and falls, occupational noise, and respirable silica,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers,” he continued.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout program that includes clear and precise lockout procedures for all workers is imperative. Partnering with certified lockout technicians and safety experts on developing LOTO procedures and placards allows faster and more accurate turnaround times. Additionally, routine safety training can also prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of safety and efficiency in your workplace.

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Concrete Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties

DRUMMONDS, TN U.S. Department of Labor finds a Mississippi concrete products manufacturer and distributor had ignored safety measures following a fatal accident investigation. Investigators determined the manufacturer’s employee was engulfed in rock while trying to repair a rockhopper of a mobile concrete plant. The industrial accident caused the death of a 67-year-old worker at a Drummonds worksite in April 2021. The OSHA investigation has found Mississippi Limestone Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if the manufacturer had followed federal workplace requirements. Mississippi Limestone Corp. faces $118K in proposed penalties.

Concrete Products Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties for Ignoring Safety Measures

OSHA’s Citation and Penalties

OSHA cited the manufacturer for not evaluating the workplace to determine that spaces,  such as the rockhopper, were permit-required confined spaces. Investigators also found the company failed to establish a written permit space program for workers and didn’t provide adequate training. Additionally, the manufacturer failed to implement an energy control program for workers conducting maintenance on the plant.

OSHA also cited Mississippi Limestone Corp. for willfully exposing workers to fall hazards by not installing a stair rail system. The company also failed to evaluate each powered industrial truck operator and remove unsafe vehicles from service as required. “Mississippi Limestone’s failure to comply with safety and health requirements exposed workers to life-threatening hazards that led to the loss of a man’s life,” said OSHA Area Director William Cochran in Nashville, Tennessee. “Putting workers’ safety and health in jeopardy should never be an option. OSHA will hold employers accountable and ensure they meet their legal obligation to protect workers on the job,” Cochran continued.

Additionally, OSHA issued a notice to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with one serious violation for exposing workers to amputation, asphyxiation, and crushing hazards. Mississippi Limestone Corp. performs contract-based manufacturing for the U.S. Army Corps in connection with the Mississippi River Corps of Engineers Channel Improvement program. Under Executive Order 12196, federal agencies must comply with the same safety and health standards as private sector employers covered under the OSH Act. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

Fall Protection is OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard for the 11th Consecutive Year

OSHA recently revealed its top 10 most frequently cited standards for the 2021 fiscal year using preliminary data. This information is valuable for businesses to identify common exposures that affect their workforce and provide them with the necessary information to plan for compliance programs. Although several standards swapped positions, the criteria that make up the Top 10 Violations remained unchanged from FY 2020. Fall Protection remained OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th consecutive fiscal year in a row.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection and confined space training.

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OSHA Seeks $709K Fine From Paint Manufacturer

Columbus, OH – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks a $709K fine from a paint manufacturer connected with a fatal April 8 fire and explosion. The incident occurred in Columbus’s Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation. The company manufactures and markets industrial coatings that include acrylics, alkyds, coil and powder coatings, epoxies, primers, and urethanes. The tragedy linked to eight hospitalizations and one fatality. Property damage alone was more than $1 million. A building in the OPC Polymer unit collapsed as a result of the incident. The blast shook neighboring buildings, and at least one nearby business sustained damage.

OSHA Imposed a $709K fine for Ohio Paint Manufacturer

The tragedy could have been prevented

“Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if they had followed industry standards and removed a compromised kettle from service,” said Acting OSHA Regional Administrator William Donovan in Chicago. “Knowing that this company altered equipment, failed to use a qualified fabricator, and returned equipment to service knowing that it did not meet safety standards is unacceptable,” Donovan continued. In December 2020, the manufacturer altered the kettle reactor vessel and the manway opening but did not ensure the vessel maintained its pressure-containing ability. On January 3, following the alteration, the newly installed manway failed. The company made additional alterations to the vessel when installing a new gasket. It again failed to adhere to OSHA’s PSM, pressure vessel inspection procedures, and the American Petroleum Institute’s pressure vessel inspection code.

OSHA’s investigation determined the kettle reactor vessel released a flammable vapor cloud when its manway cover and gasket failed. The vapor flowed throughout the plant, ignited, and caused the initial explosion.

The citations and penalties

OSHA cited the Ohio paint and resins manufacturer with two willful and 33 serious safety violations. The violations including of the process safety management (PSM) and hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) standards. OSHA also cited the employer for lack of employee safety training and personal protective equipment (PPE). The agency proposed penalties totaling $709,960 and placed Yenkin-Majestic in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Willful violations will be cited when an employer knowingly disregards or acts indifferently for safety and health laws and regulations. Employers included in the SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and under pressure to abide by cited safety hazards.

The U.S.Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) also dispatched investigators to the Columbus facility following the incident. The CSB is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigations can take several months and result in a report containing recommendations for government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by including regular workplace safety training.

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Creating a Safe Work Environment for Warehouses

Warehousing is one of the riskier industries due to high-powered machinery and vehicles operating within proximity of each other. Rapid growth in e-commerce is driving an ever-increasing demand for the delivery of products in shorter timeframes. Industrial and commercial warehouses are to keep up with this demand while complying with the current safety expectations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports thousands of injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the warehousing industry annually. Many of those are caused by workplace accidents such as slips or falls, hazardous materials, and equipment malfunction. Warehouse safety should be the employers’ utmost priority to keep employees safe, ensure efficient operation, maximize productivity, and minimize injury or damage. Below are some factors to consider when planning a safe work environment for warehouse employees.

creating a safe warehouse environment

Building a Safety Culture and Procedures

Establishing comprehensive safety procedures can help prevent workplace accidents in warehouses and promote a safe work environment.  An engaging safety procedure starts from the top-down; management should walk the talk in cultivating such values into the company culture. While employees may have the required certification for the job, this does not always include in-depth safety training. Thus, providing ample opportunities for employees to access safety resources, including signage, safety stickers, regular safety meetings, and safety training, is essential in creating a safe work environment. Consider developing training programs with the help of industry subject matter experts that offer blended and interactive training solutions. Ideally, a comprehensive training program should include a good mix of on-site training, hands-on validation, online learningwebinarstoolbox talks, and virtual reality courses in multiple languages for easy access.

Other good practices include posting signs around the warehouse indicating different safety procedures, regular communication on safety tips, and announcements on new safety procedures. Incentivize workers to take safety courses and recognize their efforts to demonstrate exemplary safety protocol. Consider putting together a safety handbook or manual that includes potential hazards, safety protocols, and rules.

Lockout/Tagout Procedure

Establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout program that includes clear and precise lockout procedures for all workers is imperative, especially in heavy machinery warehouses. Routine training on using the equipment, shutting it down correctly, and isolating the power sources by following the proper lockout tagout procedures can prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of safety in your warehouse.

Key Takeaways

Warehouse workers are more likely to internalize the safety culture and take it seriously when they know the company is responsible, accountable, and invested in their well-being. A safe work environment helps warehouses build a good relationship with their employees and supports businesses in achieving higher recognition.

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Other related resources:

  • Warehouse safety best practices https://blog.sliceproducts.com/warehouse-safety-best-practices
  • Tips for improving warehouse safety https://ohsonline.com/articles/2021/04/01/ten-tips-for-improving-warehouse-safety.aspx
  • Warehouse safety tips https://www.fluxpower.com/blog/warehouse-safety-tips
  • Warehouse safety guidelines https://www.slideshare.net/envirotechint/warehouse-safety-guidelines

Infographic provided by Enviro Tech International

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OSHA Seeking Six-figure Penalties for Fall Hazards

Fort Worth, Texas The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited two contractors for fall hazards and is seeking six-figure penalties. On Sept. 17, OSHA cited RM Masonry and Stucco Inc. of Fort Worth for exposing workers to fall and silica hazards, a total of nine repeated and six serious violations. The offenses included failing to ensure scaffolding was planked correctly and secured, providing a ladder for safe egress, and inspecting scaffolding. Later, on Sept. 20, the agency cited Neal Weaver, an Ohio-based contractor, with severe eye and fall protection violations. The company has exposed its workers to deadly fall hazards for the sixth time in five years. OSHA is seeking fines totaling $216,265 and $253,556, respectively.

“Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction,” Cleveland Area Director Howard Eberts said in a recent statement. “Employers must ensure that employees working from heights greater than 6 feet are provided with fall protection equipment and are well trained. Too often, OSHA inspectors find employees working on residential roofs without fall protection,” Eberts continued. OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (29 CFR §1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited standard, a total of 5,424 times in the fiscal year (FY) 2020. At the same time, the scaffolding standard (§1926.451) is the fourth most commonly cited standard with a total of 2,538 violations in FY 2020.

OSHA-cited-a-contractor-for-six-figure-penalties

Fall Protection is OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard for the 11th Consecutive Year

In fact, for the 11th consecutive fiscal year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented this preliminary data from FY 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30) on Oct. 12 during the 2021 NSC Safety Congress & Expo. Although several standards swapped positions, the criteria that make up the Top 10 Violations remained unchanged from FY 2020. The complete list is as below:-

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 5,295 violations
  2. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,527
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,026
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 1,948
  5. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 1,947
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 1,698
  7. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,666
  8. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,452
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,420
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,113

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection training.

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