• Credit: Ron Hyink

#4 – Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134 – cited 2,371 times)

Toxic fumes, gases, vapors and dust containing silica can be an issue in any precast plant if not addressed properly. Establishing and maintaining a respiratory protection program that meets OSHA standards is an important tool for a plant worker’s safety and health. A respiratory protection plan establishes requirements and procedures to protect employees against overexposure to airborne contaminants. Violations occur when plants fail to establish and maintain a written respiratory protection program, fail to provide a medical evaluation to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator, fail to establish requirements for voluntary use of respirators, fail to provide annual fit-testing, and fail to establish general requirements for respirator selection.

#5 – Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147 – cited 1,572 times)

Lockout-Tagout is a specific practice for establishing requirements and procedures to prevent the unintended release of energy – whether electrical, potential, gravity, hydraulic or pneumatic – that may energize an electrical circuit or a machine, or cause a machine part to unexpectedly move or fall, causing injury to any employee. Violations occur when plants fail to establish requirements in energy control procedures, fail to inspect the procedure established, fail to properly train employees on the procedures, and fail to establish energy control program requirements.

#6 – Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178 – cited 1,993 times)

An in-house safety document specifically for powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks, will establish requirements for their design, maintenance and operation. Employees should be trained on the equipment’s load, what to do when the truck could potentially tip over, speed limitations and seat belt requirements.

Violations occur during unsafe operations, or when operators are not properly trained and evaluated, trucks are still in operation although they require service, and trucks are not inspected before being placed into service.

#7 – Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053 – cited 2,310 times)

Ladder accidents are accountable for roughly 8% of all labor-associated deaths each year. Ladders and their requirements have become an increasing concern in the United States due to mishandling and failure to achieve safety. The mishandling and misuse of ladders continues to draw frequent violations. Violations occur when the minimum requirements are not met.

#8 – Electrical, Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment (29 CFR 1910.305 – cited 1,744 times)

An in-house safety document specifically for electrical wiring methods will establish requirements and procedures for the examination, installation, use and testing of continuity and resistance of electrical power tools, equipment, power cords and receptacles to eliminate employee exposure to hazards. Electrical hazards include insulation, incomplete circuit devices, mislabeled circuit components, current conductivity, overhead lines, proper grounding, accidental start-ups and personal protection.

#9 – Machines, General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.212 – cited 2,097 times)

One or more methods of machine guarding must be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ignoring nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices and electronic safety devices. Guards must be affixed to the machine where possible or secured elsewhere if attachment to the machine is not possible, although the guard itself cannot pose a hazard.

Any machinery that can cause harm to your employees during operation must be protected under this standard. Common violations are seen when plants fail to apply a guard system, point of operation when guarding, secure anchoring of the machinery at a fixed location, specifications for guarding blades, and general requirements for the location of a machine guard.