Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Rising Costs of OSHA Violations & How to Avoid Them

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Aug 20, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Does your facility consistently meet OSHA standards for safety, or is your bottom line at risk of a serious impact from the recently increased OSHA fines? tightrope-3273210_640

Safety is one of the biggest, most costly concerns in the supply chain industry. OSHA violations can deeply impact your bottom line – more so now than ever before. On January 23, 2019, OSHA put an annual adjustment to penalties of violation that raised fine amounts by approximately 2.5% over the 2015 revised amounts.

For instance, the maximum fine for a serious violation, which was $12,934 prior to the revision, is now $13,260. Similarly, the revised maximum fine for willful and repeat violations is $132,598, a big increase over the prior penalty of $129,336.

OSHA has regulations and guidelines for warehouse and manufacturing facilities, but it is very common for an enterprise’s day-to-day operations to become lax when it comes to safety protocol.

How to avoid costly OSHA violations

Sustaining a safe work environment in a warehouse or manufacturing facility is a complex task. The more locations an enterprise has, the harder it becomes to monitor, track, and enforce safety. In order to ensure safety standards are met, you need a uniform way of monitoring and recording safety processes.

Managing a successful safety program can be difficult. You may think you’re compliant with regulations, but there is more you can do.

For example:

  • Do a monthly site assessment to break down the hazards contributing to incidents. These hazards can be difficult to identify.
  • Engage employees to become involved in the development and reinforcement of your program. Create teams that compete on their knowledge of forklifts and safety.
  • Use telematic data on the 5 whys (who, what, where, when and why) when a violation happens to prevent a repeat incident.
  • Personalized safety checklists are ideal because they will fit the unique demands and risks within your facilityLift-truck manufacturers can provide daily checklists specific for each type of forklift.
  • Use automated safety checklists to provide documented proof that safety checks were conducted, and telematics software should also lock out vehicles from use if they fail inspection.

The problem with some of OSHA’s safety regulations is that they can be misinterpreted. For example, OSHA requires safety inspections for fleet vehicles in your facility, but documentation is not technically required — at least not until an accident occurs or your business undergoes a safety audit.  

Translation? OSHA does require safety checklist documentation, just not until OSHA inspectors begin an investigation or are asking questions. That is an inopportune time to discover that the documentation they demand is missing and your facility will be facing subsequent fines.  

Telematic safety solutions let your enterprise monitor and maintain a culture of safety. Telematics delivers complete documentation of everything needed to save time and reduce injury to your workforce and the potential for OSHA fines.

 

Topics: OSHA regulations, compliance requirements, Documentation of impacts, warehousing industry incidents & violations, osha inspection, safety improvements, operator report card, limit risks, forklift operators, lockout/tagout function

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