(based on a report given at the October 2016 National Safety Council Conference)
Local governments in Oklahoma do not fall under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for compliance. We are regulated by the Oklahoma Department of Labor Public Entity Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) division. When you look at the OSHA standards though, they mirror many of the functions that local governments and their employees perform. Meeting OSHA standards is really meeting the minimum safety industry standards. Therefore, following these guidelines makes sense if you are interested in protecting your workers as they do their day-to-day jobs.
Here are the top 10 OSHA safety violations, and some information about addressing the problem: Do your employees perform these types of jobs or have exposure to them? Do you have written policies and procedures to protect your employees? Do you train your employees to work safely within these procedures?
1) Fall Protection – Outlines where fall protection is required, which systems are appropriate for given situations, proper construction and installation of safety systems, and proper supervision of employees to prevent falls.
2) Hazard Communication – Addresses chemical hazards – both those chemicals produced in the workplace and those imported into the workplace. Also governs communication of those hazards to workers using the Hazardous Communication Guidelines w/ the Global Harmonization System.
3) Scaffolding – Covers general safety requirements for designing, erecting, and using scaffolding.
4) Respiratory Protection – Directs employers in establishing or maintaining a respiratory protection program. Lists requirements for administration, procedures, selection, training, and fit testing.
5) Lock Out / Tag Out – Outlines the requirements for hazardous energy control during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.
6) Powered Industrial Trucks – Covers design, maintenance, operation, and training in the use of fork lifts, motorized hand trucks, and powered industrial trucks.
7) Ladders – Covers general requirements for ladders, and training in set up, use, and inspection.
8) Machine Guarding – Covers guarding of machinery to protect operators and other employees from hazards, including those created by point of operation, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.
9) Electrical Wiring – Covers grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation. It includes temporary wiring and splicing, such as flexible cords and cables.
10) General Electrical Requirements – Covers general safety requirements for designing electrical systems.
By providing employees with the tools to work safely, with policies and procedures to follow, with training, and with proper PPE, you will be doing your part to keep employees safe.
OMAG’s Risk Management Services department can provide information and instruction to assist you with developing your municipality’s Safety & Health Policy and Procedures Manual. We also provide generalized training for municipalities both on-site and on-line at no charge for our plan participant cities and towns. However, your department managers and supervisors must provide the hands on, day to day training.
For more information about improving your Risk Management/Safety Program, contact Kip Prichard, Gary Cauthen, or Will Sheppard of OMAG Risk Management Services department at (800) 234-9461.
The following is from a report by the Oklahoma Department of Labor PEOSH statistics from 2015:
Although our municipal injuries are going down, cities and towns still have the highest number of injuries of workers of all the public sectors.
The majority of Lost Work Days from municipal employees are due to major injuries. Therefore, it is imperative to have safe work procedures written, train our employees on safe work practices, and oversee that they are working in compliance with the procedures.