Powered industrial trucks are common across industries for transporting, storing, and staging materials, as well as many other practical uses. Considering the wide range of applications and utility for trucks and trailers, it is not surprising that they are commonly cited for OSHA safety citations. The sheer size and power of the truck combined with the variety of transported materials are the focus of regulations for OSHA standard 1910.178.
The Top Five industries cited for Powered Industrial Truck violations sheds light on the importance of truck safety risk management in the workplace.
Manufacturing (665 Citations)
Wholesale Trade (165)
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services (145)
Retail Trade (70)
Powered Truck Safety in Industry
OSHA has structured Industry Standard 1910.178 to ensure businesses focus on operating properly equipped trucks, consider the safety factors of transported materials and operating environments, and generally to protect against the power and size of industrial truck equipment. Fire hazards, chemical considerations, and proper labeling are the focus of the standard.
Trucks are common in many industries, particularly those with material transport needs and at construction job sites. Not surprisingly, each of the top 5 industries cited regularly conduct these activities. The standard does not apply to “compressed air or nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, nor to farm vehicles, nor to vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling.”
Fall Protection for Truck Trailers
In addition to standards related to Powered Industrial Trucks, truck trailers provide safety risks to consider when loading, unloading, staging, and performing related work requirements. Providing safe access to trailers as well as an adequate work area for loading dock employees is a vital element to complete trucking protection. Trailer access products such as Trucker safety ladders and portable work platforms will trucking fall protection on the road, loading dock, and job site.
Floor openings are a broad OSHA standard covering stairwells, ladderways, hatches, skylights, pits, manholes, and other walking or working surfaces that workers can fall into. In industrial workplaces, floor openings commonly provide multi-level access or access to storage or materials, and are often found when labor or construction is underway. Consider the Top 10 citations for OSHA safety standard 1910.23 in 2012.
Manufacturing (302 Citations in 2012)
Wholesale Trade (71 Citations)
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services (61 Citations)
Safety managers and operations personnel must keep in mind OSHA guidelines including proper railings, floor opening covers, toe boards, manhole guards, and platforms. Industries with the most frequent violations include manufacturing, transportation/energy, and mining. The common thread among these industries? Material storage, operational setting variations, and multi-level access.
If your work area provides access to multiple levels for which standard equipment will not safely facilitate, custom solutions may be necessary. Proper equipment will protect your employees, manage worker’s comp safety risk, and prevent OSHA citations.
Innovative Access Solutions, LLC
For custom access design, Innovative Access Solutions is an experienced and knowledgeable producer of OSHA safe solutions, across industries. For more information about IAS, visit IAScustom.com or call (800) 388-6884.
The National Bureau of Labor’s 2011 Census of Occupational Injuries brought to light a theme that occupational safety management professionals have observed for years: Slips & Falls are a leading cause of occupational injuries. Combined with Roadway Incidents, the two categories make up over a third of all fatal occupational injuries. Trucking, Transportation & Warehousing is the industry sector with the most fatal work injuries and a Top 3 work injury rate. Safety professionals in these industries should consider leading fall protection risk areas and consider mitigation tactics for each.
Sounds easy, right? Have a look at our premier infographic ‘Slips & Falls in Trucking’ to see this concept illustrated for painless consumption.
Fall protection is a topic that small business owners often overlook. It may seem taxing to invest in equipment that provides safety features such as three points of contact, slip resistant flooring, and safety guardrails, but a reassuring way to look at it is as an ROI investment. The potential for employees to fall and injure themselves, particularly at heights greater than 4′, is a significant cost management risk which can be mitigated at marginal investment cost. Consider the following risk factors associated with failing to protect your employees from injuries resulting from falls.
Workers Comp Claims: The cost of broken bones is one of the most expensive worker’s compensation claims.
Insurance Premium Rates: When an employee is injured at work, Workers Comp premium rates may increase as your claim risk factor is increased.
Another factor to consider is employee morale. Small businesses must function as a well-oiled machine to meet the demands of a growing customer base. Even the slightest hit to morale resulting from an injured co-worker can affect performance, quality and timelines. Research has shown that a safe working environment supports optimum productivity and employee satisfaction. Taking steps to protect employees that work at heights will provide risk management benefit and support your goal of attaining high productivity.