Helping avoid unnecessary OSHA fines

In June of this year, an insulation plant in Phenix City, Alabama was fined  $27,500 by OSHA solely for not having a sufficient place, such as a wash station or shower, to flush fluids from the body in an emergency. In this case, the plant had been cited previously, which resulted in the large fines they received.

Unfortunately, this case is not unique. OSHA fines are detrimental but can be avoided by staying proactive with emergency response best practices. So why aren’t more companies following the ANSI guidelines and avoiding these potentially large fines? Feedback has told us that equipment can be expensive or difficult to replace.

Recently, Haws® launched the AXION Advantage a retrofit system designed to upgrade existing units to an ANSI compliant solution. The cost-efficient system can fit on many competitive emergency eyewash or shower units with technology that improves your emergency response option.

Upgrading old equipment in your facility is easy, simply remove the existing head, select one of the supplied connectors, and attach the new (compliant) AXION Advantage head. Included in the system is a complete ANSI testing kit to help walk you through the final steps of compliance. Small steps to avoid big fines.

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Here are some helpful ANSI Z358.1 facts on requirements for your emergency equipment:

Top Ten OSHA Violations: 2012 vs. 2014

OSHA_logo

A list of the “OSHA Top Ten Violations for 2014” has been released along with links to valuable resources to help your facility stay on top of safety in the workplace. We compared the results from 2012 and 2014 to create a visual representation of how far accidents in the workplace have come during the course of two years.

Fall Protection has been the top offense in both 2012 and 2014, however, the number of violations have decreased significantly. On the other hand, the remaining top violations on the list have actually increased by nearly 14%.  Stay up-to-date on regulation requirements and facility safety protocol will help to make sure your work facility is doing its best to decrease the amount of OSHA violations.

Certainly all OSHA standards are important, but which standards are most valuable to you in your workplace? Write us a comment in the box below and let us know!

2012 Number of Violations 2014 Number of Violations
1. Fall Protection 1926.501 7,250 1. Fall Protection 1926.501 6,143
2. Hazard Communication 1910.1200 4,696
  1. Hazard Communication 1910.1200
5,161
3. Scaffolds 1926.451 3,814 3. Scaffolding 1926.451 4,029
4. Respiratory Protection 1910.134 2,371 4. Respiratory Protection 3,223
5. Ladders 1926.1053 2,310 5. Lockout/Tagout 1910.147 2,704
6. Machine Guarding 1910.212 2,097 6. Powered Industrial Trucks 1910.178 2,662
7. Power Industrial Trucks 1910.178 1,993 7. Electrical, Wiring Methods 1910.305 2,490
8. Electrical – Wiring Methods 1910.305 1,744 8. Ladders 1926.1053 2,448
9. Control of Hazardous Energy/Lockout/Tagout 1910.147 1,572 9. Machine Guarding 1910.212 2,200
10. Electrical – General Requirements 1910.303 1,332 10. Electrical, General Requirements 1910.303 2,056
Industrial Insulation Company Cited $40k for Serious Hazards

We frequently hear comments from safety professionals that showers and eyewashes are rarely used and in turn they receive little attention. Yet, small overlooks can lead to large repercussions  that can affect a company financially. Recently, a company was fined over $25,000 for safety violations including not providing the appropriate emergency eyewashes and showers at a plant that works with caustic chemicals. These types of violations are common and while the financial impacts are great, the increased injury damage to a victim who did not receive the adequate emergency response can be greater.

To read more, see the article below:

OSHA has cited Alabama-based Industrial Insulation Group for five serious health and safety violations for exposing workers to caustic chemicals, among other hazards. According to a report from OSHA, the agency began an inspection following a January 2014 complaint about the facility’s allegedly hazardous working conditions. The company faces $41,800 in proposed fines.

OSHA issued one repeat violation ($27,500 in proposed penalties) for failing to provide workers exposed to gamma-aminopropyltriethoxysilane with an eyewash station and shower, as the chemical can cause irritation and damage to the eyes, skin, and kidneys. The company was cited for a similar violation at the same facility in February 2013. In addition, the company was cited for three serious violations for not providing an eye and body wash shower for employees working with formaldehyde, failing to provide training on safety and health hazards for workers exposed to formaldehyde, and exposing workers to dangerous moving machine parts ($14,300 in proposed fines).

“It is troubling to know that while this employer initially corrected the hazard after OSHA issued a previous citation, it did not maintain the necessary safety standards. Although, this employer knew to provide eyewash and a shower for employees working with caustic chemicals, it continued to expose workers to the same hazard,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile.

[via OH&S]