June is National Safety Month. The National Safety Council has a team of consultants who travel across the country – and the world – to visit worksites and conduct safety audits. But no matter where each team member is, chances are good that he or she will spot one or more common safety hazards. Here are the hazards that cause the majority of workplace accidents.
- Working at Height; TheBureau of Labor Statistics data shows that falls to a lower level accounted for 14 percent of all fatalities in 2014, and OSHA standards related to scaffolding and ladders are regularly among the most frequently cited violations. “Employers may not know they have to provide fall protection and need to identify all locations where fall protection is necessary (Safety and Health Magazine).”
- Poor Housekeeping: Examples includeclutter blocking fire exits, aisles and emergency exits, over-stacking loads on racks, leaks or standing water that contribute to slips, trips, and falls.
- Electrical – Extension Cords: Many electrical hazards are related to inappropriate use of extension cords. “Daisy-chaining” – using multiple extension cords or power strips for a device.
- Forklifts: A leading cause of forklift-related hazards is when workers feel compelled to work quickly. “Shortcuts include driving with too large of a load or driving distracted. The end result may be hitting a rack, damaging a wall or product, or even injuring a co-worker (Safety and Health Magazine).”
- Chemicals: When an organization purchases and uses chemicals, it needs to have a control system. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires facilities to keep an inventory of all products. “Mark down the chemical’s expiration date, and use the chemical by that date or dispose of it properly (Suzhou Sanical Protective Product Manufacturing Co., Ltd.).”
- Confined Spaces: In one scenario a confined space’s hazardous atmosphere wasn’t assessed properly because the equipment being used was out of date and a fire broke out. “If the risk assessment and permit process are done correctly, and all steps are followed, employers won’t have a problem (Safety and Health Magazine).”
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