Easily Avoiding OSHA Citations and Remaining in Compliance

According to the top 10 most cited standards from OSHA, fall protection and hazard communications account for over 12,500 citations in the last fiscal year. Several of these citations stem companies and organizations that do not have a program to properly train employees, Paul Andersen of OSHA Compliance Services, LLC said in a session titled "30 Common OSHA Citations You Can Easily Avoid" at Safety 2019 this week.

"It's not that these companies are putting together 'bad' programs," Andersen said. "It is that they have absolutely no program at all. Obviously this is avoidable."

Andersen spoke of many instances in which he cited companies for not being in compliance of OSHA standards. For instance, hanging a fire extinguisher too high, blocking an electrical panel or not properly displaying a permit for a pressurized vehicle. He suggested that all of these citations are avoidable if you create a checklist of the standard applicable to your company, use and study it to remain in compliance.

"You might be doing something according to the standard," Andersen said. "But you have to read the standard completely and thoroughly to remain in compliance."

Andersen suggests, "sticking to the standard." For instance, the Cal/OSHA Medical Services and First Aid standard says and employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of industrial health or injury. Anderson stresses not straying too far from the standard. Don't put additional medications in there, especially with an expiration date, because then you risk not being in compliance.

"If you are in compliance, you are more likely to be safe," Andersen said. "You are more less likely to be safe if you were out of compliance."

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