In the construction industry, precision matters – corners need to be square, lines have to be level and plans must be followed. Following the rules keeps buildings and people safe. But when construction companies cut corners, workers often pay the price.
Had his employer properly created a work zone, a passing car on Philadelphia's 63rd Street might not have struck and killed a 27-year-old plumber working to repair an underground leak on a mid-November night in 2015.
A West Virginia contractor found itself on the receiving end of an OSHA investigation after an agency inspector observed an employee working on scaffolding with no fall protection and in close proximity to an electrical power line – a combination that could have proved deadly.
A Passaic, New Jersey warehouse operator was cited earlier this month for two dozen safety violations, including failure to have a written hazard assessment and a hazard communication program (including material safety data sheets), a lack of training for employees required to handle hazardous chemicals, fall hazards, inadequate exit signage, lack of machine guarding, electrical hazards, and a failure to provide eyewash facilities.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of precautionary statements that appear on the label?
A: No. OSHA requires all of the appropriate precautionary statements to appear on the label to warn users of the hazards of the chemical in question.
Industrial end users – from plant, operations, and maintenance managers to janitorial and sanitation supervisors to environmental health and safety (EHS) compliance officers – must now ask if their chemical labels are GHS compliant.
Among the industries affected by the revisions in OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is the restaurant industry, where workers may be exposed to an array of potentially hazardous chemicals such as oven cleaners, floor cleaners, pesticides, disinfectants, drain cleaners, soaps, detergents, and latex. These materials can cause everything from infections to severe burns.
The June 1, 2016 deadline past; employers must be in compliance with OSHA’s GHS standard through the updating of alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program (as necessary), and by providing additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.