So, as we walk through the workplace, there are certain items that OSHA wants to have posted so that the employeesknow their rights. So you're going to have an OSHA poster up there, it's going to detail the rights of the employee. Many times we see the general duty clause, where the employer has to provide a workplace that's going to be free from anything that might cause me to die or get seriously, physically hurt. Our employees need to know that. So we have to post that in a public area that all the other employees can see.
If there was an OSHA officer on site, and you did assault that person, that could be a fine of not more than $5000 and possible imprisonment, for not more than three years, we hope that would never happen.
In addition to all these high dollar costs caused, injuries for not being on par with occupational, health, and safety standards, can lead to even greater cost. So you got to take time, maybe your HR person has to go to all of these meetings with OSHA and that might end up in court, your insurance company is going to get involved. And just a lot of costs that are associated with these things that we could definitely try to avoid very easily.
Okay, so number one on our list that we saw earlier was fall protection. So, falls in 2014 had 8,241 citations issued. And how can we maybe make sure this doesn't happen? Well, the best way to prevent fall protection, continuously out there, monitoring, evaluating the work sites, documenting it, taking pictures, repairing whatever you might see. Make sure we have guardrail systems in place. And of course we got to have to have our safety harness and lanyards on.
And in the construction industry, when you reach a height of six feet above your work area, then you're going to have to have fall protection. In general industry, it is four feet. So we got to make sure that those workers are wearing their safety helmets and lanyards. But remember, going out there and doing audits is going to be very nice to make sure the workers are complying. Because, if they're not used to wearing these personnel protective equipment, then they're never going to wear it, there will be an accident and OSHA will definitely react to that.
Hazard Communication Standard
When I first started, this was mostly MSDS, with Material Safety Data Sheets. And on December 1, 2013, they changed that to Safety Data Sheets. This has to deal with the chemicals that we might find in the workplace. So we've got to make sure that we train in the hazards of these chemicals. Whatever chemicals might be present, we got to make sure that we do some training there, so that the employees know exactly what could happen to them. We've got to give them some procedures on how they can protect themselves from these hazards.
Again, it's very important that we document these procedures. So, you can put this in your SDS binder, you train your workers on it, have them sign off that they've been trained. And that looks very good when OSHA inspector does come, that you have trained them in the hazards, and you have let the employees know about what was going on. Also, the operations where hazardous chemicals are present, so we got to know those locations, where the hazard chemicals are being used:
So each employer needs a written Hazard Communication Program. And you got to make sure that this program will detail what the hazard is, how it could affect the employee, you get to have a master list of all these hazardous chemicals. You have to explain the labels that are on the containers. So many times, we'll get some generic containers, and there might be cleaning solutions in there, there might be chemicals in there that are dedicated to the process that we're using. And we have to know exactly what is inside that container. So each container has to have a label, and depending on how you identify that, the worker would know exactly what is inside those containers.
Then that labeling system, whatever labeling system that you come up with, you've got to make sure that that's consistent, and it's on all of the containers where hazardous chemicals might be. That means safety data sheets. So these safety data sheets, have to be in a binder, and we have to make sure that the safety data sheets are accurate, that we know the chemical, what that chemical could do to our body, whether we inhaled it, or whether it entered out body through the skin, and what are some of the procedures to make sure after that after that chemical did get in our body, what we could to do to still try to keep ourselves safe. So, these safety data sheets are very important.
Also, any methods used to detect the presence or release of hazardous chemicals. So whatever your detection system might be, the OSHA inspector is going to have to know all of that.
Continuing with HazCom, to make sure that we don't get cited on this, and of course in 2014, there were over 6,000 citations, with this just one violation, HazCom. So, we got to have in writing, a hazard communication program, each employer is responsible for that. We've got to inform all of our staff, of course, of all the hazardous chemicals. And we've got to have the binder. The binder, if it is maintained electronically, you should also have a hard copy, near the work area, where that is.
So, for instance, if I got some type of chemical in my eye, another worker could go over to that binder, very close to where I was, and say, "Oh, look at this, you better not put water in there, or you better get the eye wash station right now." Because this is going to give him some good information of what we have to do, if we do come into contact with that chemical. So, you can keep them electronically, but always good to have the hard copyright near the work area.
You have to have a list of all the hazardous chemicals in the facility. It's a master list. It has to be kept in the SDS binder either electronically or the hard copies. And we've got to put these labels on all these containers. So when I pick a container up, I have to know what type of chemical might be in that container. And that's going to be my labeling system. I've seen different employers use colors, I've seen them use different types of symbols, so that that could communicate to the worker, how that chemical could affect their body.