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OSHA Safety and Health Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the OSHA Workplace Safety Top 10 Violations for 2019?
  1. Fall Protection - General Requirements (6,010 violations)
  2. Hazard Communication (3,671 violations)
  3. Scaffolding (2,813 violations)
  4. Lockout/Tagout (2,606 violations)
  5. Respiratory Protection (2,450 violations)
  6. Ladders (2,345 violations)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (2,093 violations)
  8. Fall Protection - Training Requirements (1,773 violations)
  9. Machine Guarding (1,743 violations)
  10. Eye & Face Protection (1,411 violations)

The above list of cited categories of violations continue to lead to death and dismemberment of workers.  Businesses should look at this list and use it as a guide to better understand what are the most frequently cited and overlooked yet hazardous conditions that exist at most workplaces.

These categories of OSHA safety violations are preventable and all workplaces must actively perform daily site hazard assessments, educate workers and develop an incident investigation.  Every workplace should implement a review and abatement program  that continuously evaluates and improves the workplace safety conditions so that hazards are abated.

It is up to everyone to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses and keep each other safe.

2. Does OSHA have a Guide for Training Programs?

OSHA continuously develops, updates and provides small entity guidance documents related to the OSHA standards.  There are quick cards, guidance documents, training materials and other resources that are available for download from their website:  www.osha.gov.

The following training guidance document is the most current and provides a detailed review of what is required by businesses to protect worker’s safety and health.

The guide includes training provisions, emergency action plans, on site first aid requirements, equipment and tool safety, electrical and fall protection, hazardous materials or Hazard Communication requirements for worker safety with chemicals, PPE, personal protective equipment requirements, and much more detailed worker health and safety training and control provisions.

OSHA Publication 2254 (2015) “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards” for General Industry, Construction and Maritime, is located at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2254.pdf 

3. What are the Most Common Safety Programs are Required by OSHA?

OSHA standards require programs to be in place and written or electronic documentation that the program requirements have been completed. Each business will need to evaluate the workplace activities and determine which safety program is required for their worksite. To ensure that each program is completed, it is best to have the specific program:

  1. Customized to your business or site activities,
  2. Be written down and updated annually,
  3. Readily available and accessible for review,
  4. Provide training to workers on the program requirements, and
  5. have a method that ensures corrective actions and safeguards are put into place or the site hazard abated in a reasonable time frame.

List of Common OSHA Safety Programs for General Industry and Construction

  1. Bloodborne pathogen exposure Program
  2. Confined Space Entry Program
  3. Crane and Hoisting Inspection Program
  4. Electrical Safety and related work practices Program
  5. Emergency Action Plan
  6. Trenching and Excavations
  7. Fire Prevention Plan
  8. Fall Protection Program
  9. First Aid Program
  10. General Site Safety and Health including a Hazard Communication Program
  11. Hand and Power Tool Program
  12. Hearting Conservation Program
  13. Hot Work Program
  14. Laboratory Chemical Safety and Hygiene Program
  15. Lock Out Tag Out, LOTO Program
  16. Machine Guarding Program
  17. OSHA Recordkeeping Program (OSHA 300 logs)
  18. PPE, Personal Protective Equipment Program
  19. Powered Industrial Truck and Operator Training Program
  20. Respiratory Protection Program (Including selection, training, fit testing, medical evaluations)
  21. Safety Education Program
  22. Spill Response and Emergency Response Program
  23. Heat and Cold Stress
  24. Radiation (Ionizing and Non-ionizing)
  25. Workplace Violence and Active Assailant or Shooter Program

The above list is a starting point for the variety of programs that must be evaluated, written and continuously improved upon for each workplace to ensure workers are provide a safe and healthy workplace.

4. Does OSHA Require each business to have an On-site Safety Officer?

OSHA requires employers to provide training to workers on multiple topics.

A safety officer or manager identifies training needs, develops appropriate training programs and delivers training to employees.  While these items can be outsourced, businesses need to evaluate the benefits of having a safety officer on-site and available to workers to meet their safety and health needs and enforce the OSHA standards, while providing a safe and healthy workplace. 

OSHA offers free safety resources that will help owners and managers review the safety program requirements for their workplaces.

5. Who Must Comply with the OSHA Safety Standards?

Employers are required to evaluate their workplaces and keep their workplace free from identifiable and recognized hazards and dangerous conditions to protect all workers’ safety and overall health. All businesses are required to comply with the OSHA Standards. Which sections apply to your business depends on the business classification, work practices and number of employees.

OSHA requires that all employers comply with applicable OSHA standards unless they are specifically exempted.  Businesses with more than ten (10) employees must maintain OSHA injury and illness records unless OSHA classifies the business as partially exempt.

If you have few than 10 employees during the year, unless OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies your business in a category that requires you to do so, you do not need to keep the OSHA 300 log records of injuries and illnesses.

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