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OSHA Standards

In the early industrial age, working was a high-risk affair with injuries and fatalities not common, but an accepted unfortunate side effect. As equipment and processes improved, the mishap rates declined. However they were still unacceptably high, and nothing required employers to implement procedures to protect their employees. It was not until 1970 that the law establishing the administration was passed, resulting in the OSHA standards, which have been so effective. The name is the acronym for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, originally created from within the Labour Department. The reason for its creation was that even as recently as 1970, the actual number of mishaps, even fatal ones, were not accurately reported or compiled. The best estimate is that over 14,000 workers lost their lives on the job that year. After enactment and vigorous enforcement, that figure dropped to just over 4,000 by 1990, a decrease of over 80 percent.

Most of these regulations seem so obvious, for example; like the Lockout Tagout requirement, which prevents people from exposure to energy hazards like electricity. It would seem natural that if there is something dangerous it should be physically restricted or clearly labeled. Unfortunately, even this simple technique costs money and therefore is not popular. Helmets, steel-toed shoes, gloves and overalls are standard equipment for most industries, but this requirement still elicits resistance. In addition to costs, workers do not always like using them. This resistance is why it took laws to get people to wear seat-belts, despite proof that they save lives. One of the most sensible regulations is control of hazardous energy 1910 147, which covers equipment, which, if suddenly powered, would place the worker in danger. We expect a switch on our home table saw to prevent accidentally starting the blade, but it took legislation to make it a requirement in the workplace. This standard protects workers from electrical shock during maintenance on equipment as well.

Workplace safety, however, is not just about PPE and machinery guards; it requires the active participation of employees. The law can require training in how and when to use equipment, but it has to be engaged by the worker. A strong program designs the process so that it is interesting and explains why occupational safety is a goal worth the effort of compliance all the time.

Thanks to enforcement activities like OSHA inspections, acceptance of these policies has become more widespread, and US workers now expect them in every job. This is part of the reason the US has a good workplace safety record, compared with other nations. The regulations bind only business enterprises in the United States, but other nations have taken them as guides in developing their own national set of policies. Critics will complain that the cost of compliance is too high, and the US loses efficiency in both adhering to the requirements and in preparation for evaluations. Proponents counter that saving lives and preventing injuries is worth the money, and it reduces costs; replacement workers require training expenses, and compensation for injuries is expensive. Employers should be doing the right thing; protect workers and comply with legislation at the risk of steep penalties.

Lockout Kits Including Custom Lockout Training Kits Available

Wide Selection Of Lockout Kits Available

For expert advice on operating Lockout/Tagout programmes, tailored to the needs of your company, or tips on choosing from a wide range of Lockout/Tagout devices and other safety products, call us on 01642 244017 or email us.

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