Is safety your number-one priority? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is dedicated to helping companies across the country understand and establish proper safety standards for workers, employers and even temporary workers. They set and enforce safety standards and provide training, outreach, education and assistance.
OSHA publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Most Cited Violations. Companies typically have a specified amount of time to rectify the OSHA safety violations (not just the ones included in the Top 10 list) or risk being assessed fines, which can escalate quickly to very high amounts depending on the violation. The goal of this blog is to provide information on Machine Guarding and where it ranks on the Top 10 list. Within the Machine Guarding category, we’ll dig a little deeper and share some of the most-cited sections.
We’ve included a link to the Top 10 OSHA Most Cited Violations for the past five years. You’ll notice that over this time, Fall Protection, Hazard Communication and Scaffolding were the top three safety violations. Although there is an opportunity to improve and educate in those areas, we want to see where Machine Guarding is on the list. Our goal is to help you, where we can, eliminate this violation from the list and avoid fines.
When we look at the data, it is very promising in that each year the amount of Machine Guarding violations is in decline! See Figure 1 below:
So, what are some of the top specific sections that have been cited within the Machine Guarding category? We looked at safety data from 2015 to 2018 and listed below the top four sections cited during that time:
· 1910.212(a)(1) Types of Guarding
o One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine’s area from hazards, such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices
o Top section most cited
o Number of citations are decreasing: 1575 to 1289 (18%)
· 1910.212(a)(3)(ii) Point of Operation Guarding
o The point of operation of machines whose operation exposes an employee to injury shall be guarded. The guarding device shall be in conformity with any appropriate standards therefore, or, in the absence of applicable specific standards, shall be so designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
o Second most sited section
o Number of citations are decreasing: 629 to 475 (24%)
· 1910.212(b) Anchoring Fixed Machinery
o A machine designed for a fixed location must be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving.
o 3rd most cited since 2015: 165 to 76 (54%)
· 1910.212(a)(2) General Requirements for Machine Guards
o Guards shall be affixed to the machine where possible and secured elsewhere if for any reason attachment to the machine is not possible. The guard shall be such that it does not offer an accident hazard in itself.
o 4th most cited section over 2016 and 2017: 58 to 46 (21%)
We’ve all heard the saying that knowledge is power. If you didn’t already know some of these statistics, we hope that you are now more aware of common OSHA safety violations and some of the specific machine guarding violations that can occur. According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, penalties for 2019 were more than $11 million. It is very important for each person in the organization to have a safety-first mentality. Having this kind of attitude will ultimately create a much safer working environment and positively impact your bottom line.
When reviewing ways to guard your machine, consider using T-slot aluminum framing. Parker can help through our Design Center and Authorized Distributor network throughout the country. You can also electronically sketch your ideas with TADA, our free design tool. Visit www.parker.com/designarchitect to download TADA, view help tutorial videos and download templates. Also, visit www.parker.com/ips to learn more about Parker’s T-Slot Aluminum Framing Products and how they can enhance safety.
This article was contributed by Mario Mitchell, product manager for IPS T-Slot Aluminum Framing, Electromechanical & Drives Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation..