In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency responsible for establishing safety standards within various industries. Their mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” Every year, companies in the tree care industry receive citations for violating particular OSHA standards. The following is a list of the twelve most frequently cited OSHA standards. Each standard is characterized by the description of the violation and its corresponding standard number.
- General Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements – 29 CFR 1910.132
Selecting the correct PPE, providing instruction, monitoring its use, and maintaining corresponding PPE standards. Citations include failure to assess the workplace for hazards, failure to provide protective equipment to employees, and failure to train employees on how to properly use it.
- Hazard Communication – 29 CFR 1910.1200
Properly transmitting information on chemical hazards through a comprehensive program containing labeling, safety data sheets, and training. Citations are issued to employers that fail to provide a hazard communication program for dangerous substances such as oil, gas, and pesticides.
- Vehicle-mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms – 29 CFR 191067
Ensuring the safe usage and design of powered platforms, aerial lifts, and vehicle-mounted work platforms. Common citations include failure to provide fall protection for lift operators, and failure to inspect platforms and aerial lifts for mechanical degradation, defects, or safety concerns.
- Eye and Face Protection – 29 CFR 1910.133
General requirements for eye and face protection in the workplace. Citations are issued to employers that fail to ensure their employees are wearing proper eye and face protection.
- OHS Act General Duty Paragraph – 5A0001
Ensuring that the work environment is free of recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Citations are issued to employers that fail to establish a workplace free of recognized hazards.
- Head Protection – 29 CFR 1910.135
Providing employees with head protection that meets ANSI specifications. Citations are issued to employers that fail to ensure their employees are wearing proper head protection in hazardous environments.
- Selection and Use of Work Practices – 29 CFR 1910.133
Selecting the proper practices to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized. Citations are issued to employers who fail to instruct employees on how to operate safely near electrical wires, energized equipment, or circuits.
- Respiratory Protection – 29 CFR 1910.134
Properly administering a respiratory protection program, selecting correct respirators, completing medical evaluations to determine which employees are required to use respirators, and providing tight-fitting equipment. Typical citations include failure to equip employees with functional respirators, and failure to provide an instructional program on how to use respirators.
- Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes – 29 CFR 1910.23
Ensuring every stairway floor opening has proper railings and other protection. Citations are issued to employers with operating facilities featuring unguarded floor or wall openings in an area frequented by employees.
- Crawler Locomotive and Truck Cranes – 29 CFR 1910.180
Ensuring proper condition and use of cranes to hoist and swing loads. Citations are issued to employers for improper use of cranes, and for the operation of cranes and crawler locomotives that are damaged, degraded, or cracked.
- Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment for General Use – 29 CFR 1910.35
Establishing a work environment free of electrical and mechanical hazards. Citations are issued to employers that have substandard wiring, or equipment in an area frequented by employees
- Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness – 29 CFR 1904.39
Reporting fatalities, injuries, and illnesses to OSHA. Citations are issued to employers that fail to report a serious accident within the specified amount of time.
For more information about OSHA, visit their website at: https://www.osha.gov/.
To learn more about OSHA’s laws and safety regulations, visit: https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html.