Weekly Safety News Roundup – April 11, 2014

In the “What did you say?” category

A manufacturer was cited for multiple items “Four serious violations include equipping exit doors with sliding locks that could prohibit employees from leaving the facility quickly; not providing proper hand protection; failing to establish a noise testing program; and not training employees on the hazards of excessive noise levels.” It is interesting how many business latch their doors or have odd styles of handles that they try to do the right thing, but ultimately create a bad practice. In one case I remember, a door marked “EXIT” had been welded shut. When I asked why the reason was the door kept coming open. They also removed the stairs on the other side. So if it had not been welded shut, the people evacuating would just fall a couple of feet out the door. The simple plan was to mark the door as “not an exit.” The details always matter!

Noise is a whole topic all its own. Sadly, many companies think that handing out ear plugs is the right solution without realizing how complicated a true hearing conservation program can be. There are many factors in a compliant program including: monitoring, engineering, hearing screenings, selection of the right PPE, and a written program. In a loud environment, it can be a big program to manage.

In the “multiple citation” category

A foundry was found to be in violation of many OSHA regulations. These items included lack of guardrails, training, and storage of flammables. Basic OSHA compliance is achievable. It takes time and effort, but it is a shame to see citations that just keep going on and on. It makes me wonder about the morale of the employees? If a company cares so little about them, can they care about the company?

In the “Fight it all the way” category

A roofer was fined significantly when two workers fell and were hospitalized. According the article, “the owner and president of said he plans to contest the findings “all the way to the end.”’ WOW! The guy hospitalizes two workers, and he is mad that he was fined. It would be like speeding, then getting mad because you were pulled over. The way to prevent being fined is to follow the law. Even in this case, it was not just an inspection. It was an investigation into a serious accident. I have a feeling that the families of the two workers would have preferred if the law had been followed and no fines issued.

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