Frequently Observed Hazards Noted at Safety Inspections

In July of 2017 Governor Fallin signed a law enabling the Oklahoma Department of Labor-PEOSH division to cite and fine municipalities for safety regulation infractions. Does your city/town meet the basic safety requirements for protecting your workers while they are performing their jobs? Below are some of the basic violations spotted in cities and towns by OMAG Risk Management Services personnel in recent safety inspections. If you are not sure if your municipality would comply with OKDOL-PEOSH regulations, consider contacting OMAG Risk Management Services to request a safety inspection and written report concerning identified hazards. Call (800) 234-9461 and ask to schedule a safety inspection. The report is confidential between OMAG and the municipality. The following are categories that fall under the new law:

  1. Clutter in walkways and on the floors – This includes tools, materials, boxes, hoses, extension cords, dirt, dust, and spills.  Practice good housekeeping and keep areas picked up and clean.
  2. Dirty eyewash stations – Keep eye wash stations and emergency showers clean and ready for an emergency situation. We don’t want to escalate an injury by flushing it in a dirty contaminated emergency station.
  3. Inspect fire extinguishers monthly – If a fire emergency occurs you want your fire extinguishers to be reliable.
  4. Keep areas well lit – Replace burned out and flickering light bulbs. Keep charged    flashlights available in case of power outages.
  5. Keep hazardous chemicals and flammables in proper storage cabinets and rooms – Don’t leave hazardous chemicals lying out in the open without supervision. Keep flammables away from heat sources. Store them in approved flammables cabinets or specialized fireproof rooms.
  6. Overloaded storage above office/shop rooms – Place load limit signs where materials are being stored over offices and supply rooms. Don’t overload such spaces; perform a “spring cleaning” and get rid of obsolete disused materials/equipment.
  7. Equipment in disrepair or broken – Take broken or damaged equipment out of service and label it as unsafe or broken. Don’t allow it to be used until repaired or replaced. Discard broken equipment that can't be repaired.
  8. Combustibles stored near heat sources – Examples are paper goods, cardboard, wood or flammable products stored near gas hot water tanks, electric circuit panels, welding tools, etc. Keep combustibles away from heat sources.
  9. Grinding wheels – Keep machine guards within ¼ inch of grinding wheels and brushes. Use safety glasses and face shields (keep them clean), and inspect grinding wheels before each use.
  10. No lines painted to denote walking areas and work areas in shops – Keep non-workers out of work zones where they may encounter hazards they are not trained and equipped for with proper PPE.
  11. No Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) available to workers in their work environments – Safety Data sheets (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets, MSDSs) need to be available and current in all departments where hazardous materials and chemicals are used.
  12. No Safety training records – Rosters and training outlines need to be kept of all training employees have received throughout the year. According to OKDOL-PEOSH workers must attend at least 4 safety trainings per year.
  13. No written Safety & Health Policy and Procedure manual – Every municipality should have a written S&H policy and procedure manual available to their employees according to state statutes.
  14. No personal protective equipment (PPE) available or workers not using required PPE – Municipalities are required to provide basic PPE to their employees (gloves, hardhats, safety glasses, approved safety vests, respiratory devices, hearing protection, etc.).
  15. No signage denoting “hazardous” work areas or conditions that require PPE or specialized procedures – Workers are required to wear certain PPE or follow specific safety procedures in these areas.
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