OSHA violations can be detrimental to a business. They range from Willful to Serious to Repeated and so on. The cost of these violations can be monetary or even life threatening. Depending on the severity of the violation, employers can also be imprisoned. Monetary fines can range from $5,000 to $500,000. Adopting a safety manual can aid in reducing OSHA violations and employee injuries and death.
Examples of violations that could have been avoided with a safety manual
A mid-sized construction company was installing sewer pipelines for a new commercial construction project. While one employee was in the excavation connecting the pipe, another employee was operating the drilling equipment. The pipe began to rotate violently and the employee in the excavation was caught between the pipe and the trench box. The employee was rushed to the hospital where he received emergency treatment for his abdominal injuries. He later died from the injuries. This same company was also later fined for not providing a workplace free from recognized hazards that could lead to death. The company has been charged with Willful and Serious violations and fined nearly $225,000. Worse, a family has forever lost a loved one.
Another company was charged with multiple Willful violations resulting in fines up to $530,000. One of their employees was pulled into a spinning pipe mounted on a lathe machine, fracturing his arm. He was hospitalized and will live forever with a permanent injury. This kind of incident could have been much worse, leading to death.
Even a lower fine can be detrimental to a small company, especially one with heavy competition. A small metal services company was fined $50,000 when an employee was shocked after cutting an energized wire. The employee received second and third degree burns. Proper lock out procedures were not in place. Because of the competition in this particular area, the company went out of business. Companies with better safety records were available for the same work.
Can a safety manual aid in reducing OSHA violations or preventing them?
So, can a safety manual aid in reducing or eliminating OSHA violations? Yes, it can! The last thing any employer wants is to cause the death of an employee. This is especially true when a simple safety manual could have led that employee to follow safer practices. In the first violation example, following a proper excavation and trenching procedure and addressing the hazards associated with the work could have prevented a death. In the second example, a procedure for working with moving parts of equipment would have saved an employee from long term injury. Finally, in the third example, a company could still be in business if they had a common lockout tagout procedure in place.
Companies looking for a vendor or subcontractor will choose a safer company with no OSHA violations. Does your company want to be a top competitor and stand above the rest in safety? Contact us at Safety Procedure Systems for a custom-built written program that can lead to more projects and aid in eliminating injuries and OSHA violations.