OSHA Reveals its Top Ten Cited Categories for 2017

Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff. One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes.

Year after year, our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline. Consider this list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously. We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts.

Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprit here. Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.

Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial truck safety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment.

Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known. Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive. OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale.

To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces. We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs.

We all know that the equipment we use in our industries can be dangerous, if not maintained and operated properly. Learn more about maintenance, service and refurbishment of your heavy equipment at our website. 

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OSHA’s Business Case for Employee Safety

We talk a lot about employee safety, particularly within the confines of heavy construction and mining equipment. But OSHA has compiled plenty of information that demonstrates it is more profitable in the long-run for companies to invest in health, wellness and safety programs for their employees. Just like heavy machinery operator safety training, investing in other aspects of your employee’s job safety and overall health, your company reaps the rewards of less sick time, improved performance and productivity, and yes, profits. Following is OSHA’s business case:

Employers that invest in workplace safety and health can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This will result in cost savings in a variety of areas, such as lowering workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding OSHA penalties, and reducing costs to train replacement employees and conduct accident investigations. In addition, employers often find that changes made to improve workplace safety and health can result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and financial performance.

The following resources provide background on the economic benefits of workplace safety and health and how safety managers and others may demonstrate the value of safety and health to management.

Management Views on Investment in Workplace Safety and Health
  • Y.H. Huang, T.B. Leamon, et al. “Corporate Financial Decision-Makers’ Perceptions of Workplace Safety.” Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 767-775 (2007). This study reviewed how senior financial executives perceived workplace safety issues. The executives believed that money spent improving workplace safety would have significant returns. The perceived top benefits of effective workplace safety and health programs were increased productivity, reduced cost, retention, and increased satisfaction among employees.
Return on Investment in Workplace Safety and Health
  • Building a Safety Culture: Improving Safety and Health Management in the Construction Industry. Dodge Data and Analytics, CPWR, and United Rentals, (2016). Includes a section on the impact of safety practices and programs on business factors, such as budget, schedule, return on investment, and injury rates.
  • Business of Safety Committee. American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). This committee gathers data, prepares documents, and is a source of professional information on ASSE’s efforts to show that investment in safety, health, and the environment is a sound business strategy. This page includes links to a variety of resources on the return on safety investment.
  • The ROI of EHS: Practical Strategies to Demonstrate the Business Value of Environmental, Health, and Safety Functions (PDF). Business and Labor Reports, (2006). Reviews strategies to help EHS professionals demonstrate the value of their programs to executive management.
  • White Paper on Return on Safety Investment. American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), (June 2002). Concludes that there is a direct, positive correlation between investment in safety, health, and the environment and its subsequent return on investment.
  • Return on Investment. American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Provides information on the return on investment in workplace safety and health.
  • Demonstrating the Business Value of Industrial Hygiene (PDF). American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), (May 2008). Provides guidance on how industrial hygienists can show that they provide organizations with competitive business advantages.
  • Construction Solutions Return on Investment Calculator. CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. Helps evaluate the financial impact of new equipment, materials, or work practices introduced to improve safety.
  • Safety Grant Best Practices. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Safety Grants Intervention Program. Case studies on the effectiveness of investment in safety equipment, including reduced incident rates and return on investment information.
  • Anthony Veltri, Mark Pagell, Michael Behm, and Ajay Das. “A Data-Based Evaluation of the Relationship Between Occupational Safety and Operating Performance” (PDF) Journal of SH&E Research Vol.4, No. 1 (Spring 2007). Results of study of 19 manufacturing firms supports theory that good safety performance is related to good operating performance.
  • R. Fabius, RD Thayer, DL Konicki, et al, “The link between workforce health and safety and the health of the bottom line: tracking market performance of companies that nurture a “culture of health.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 55, No. 9 (2013), pp. 993-1000. Companies that build a culture of health by focusing on the well-being and safety of their workforce may yield greater value for their investors. See Abstract and Press Release.
Tools for Calculating Economic Benefits of Workplace Safety and Health
    • $afety Pays. OSHA. Interactive software that assists employers in assessing the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses on their profitability. It uses a company’s profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness, and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to generate to cover those costs.
    • Safety Pays in Mining. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Estimates the total costs of workplace injuries to a company in the mining industry and the impact of profitability.

Journal Articles

Michael Behm, Anthony Veltri, and Ilene Kleinsorge. “The Cost of Safety: Cost analysis model helps build business case for safety.” Professional Safety (April 2004). Presents a cost analysis model that can help safety, health, and environmental professionals measure, analyze, and communicate safety strategies in business terms.

“Proceedings From the Economic Evaluation of Health and Safety Interventions at the Company Level Conference.” Journal of Safety Research Vol. 36, No. 3(2005), pages 207-308. These articles describe several tools currently used by companies to evaluate the economic impact of safety and health interventions.

Susan Jervis and Terry R. Collins. “Measuring Safety’s Return on Investment.” Professional Safety (September 2001). To address the challenge of maintaining effective safety programs in the face of cutbacks, the authors discuss a decision tool to help safety managers determine which program elements offer the best return on investment.

Impact of OSHA Inspections
  • D. Levine, M. Toffel, and M. Johnson, “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job Loss.” Science, Vol. 336, No. 6083, pp. 907-911 (May 18, 2012). A 2012 study concluded that inspections conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) reduce injuries with no job loss. The study showed a 9.4% drop in injury claims and a 26% average savings on workers’ compensation costs in the four years after a Cal/OSHA inspection compared to a similar set of uninspected workplaces. On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation paid for lost work over that period. There was no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit rating, or firm survival. See Abstract and Press Release.
  • A.M. Haviland, R.M. Burns, W.B. Gray, T. Ruder, J. Mendeloff, “A new estimate of the impact of OSHA inspections on manufacturing injury rates, 1998-2005,” American Journal of Industrial Medicine, (May 7, 2012). Found that OSHA inspections with penalties of Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities reduced injuries by an average of 19-24% annually in the two years following the inspection. These effects were not found in workplaces with fewer than 20 or more than 250 employees or for inspections without penalties. See Abstract.
  • M. Foley, Z.J. Fan, E. Rauser, B. Silverstein, “The impact of regulatory enforcement and consultation visits on workers’ compensation incidence rates and costs, 1999-2008.” American Journal of Industrial Medicine, (June 19, 2012). Reviewed changes in workers’ compensation claims rates and costs for Washington state employers having either an inspection, with or without a citation, or an On-site Consultation Program visit. The study concluded that enforcement activities were associated with a significant drop in claims incidence rates and costs and that similar results may also be attributable to Consultation visits. See Abstract.
Making the Business Case for Process Safety Management
  • Business Case for Process Safety. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). CCPS developed a brochure and presentation to help companies demonstrate the business case for process safety management.
Relationship Between Injury Rates and Survival of Small Businesses
  • Theresa Holizki, Larry Nelson, and Rose McDonald. “Injury Rates as an Indicator of Business Success.” Industrial Health Vol. 44(2006), pages 166-168. Study of new small businesses that registered with the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia. A statistical correlation was found between workplace safety and health and the survival of a small business. Businesses that failed within one to two years of start-up had an average injury rate of 9.71 while businesses that survived more than five years had an average injury rate of 3.89 in their first year of business.
Other Resources

To learn more about Power Equipment Company, one of the midwest’s oldest and most trusted sources for heavy-duty forestry, construction and quarry equipmentserviceparts and rentals, please visit our website.

Roane Metals Featured in Construction Equipment Guide

One of our great customers, Roane Metals Groups was featured in Construction Equipment Guide. Read about their success, how they achieved it and their relationship with Power Equipment, Komatsu and SENNEBOGEN scrap processing equipment.

RoaneMetals

OSHA Report; The Cost of Not Protecting Our Workforce

A report generated by OSHA highlights the real costs associated with on the job injuries, who pays them and how this impacts the employee and taxpayers.

Whether an employee is working on a high-rise building or operating an excavator, employers have the responsibility, and what we feel is an obligation to protect their employees from injury. By investing in training and safety, employers get fewer injuries, lower costs, more productivity and an improved satisfaction which often leads to less turn over. But all companies do not feel that way. Many are finding ways to avoid responsibility for providing safe working conditions for their most dangerous jobs.

The report highlights what some companies do to avoid responsibility and what this does to not only the employee, but his/her family and taxpayers when an accident with injury occurs. Shifting the financial burden however does not make it go away. It shifts it to over-burdened worker’s compensation and government systems. In addition, a worker who is injured can expect to make an average of 15% less income after the injury. And while the creating of OSHA in 1970 by President Nixon has greatly reduced on the job accidents, injuries and deaths dramatically, we still have approximately 4,500 deaths every year due to workplace accidents.

As a full-service heavy-equipment distributor, safety is one of our most important topics. Our equipment can be dangerous to operate and to service, which is why we place a high priority on safety for our employees and our customer’s employees. While manufacturers work hard to innovate and make them safer, nothing can replace a well trained and cautious employee.

Report – The Cost of Not Protecting Workers

Proper Hammer Attachment Maintenance

LKomatsu1aike all products, hammers require routine maintenance from end-users to keep equipment running efficiently. Montabert District Service Manager Greg Clinton says a little work upfront can ensure attachments last as long as they are designed to, and ultimately save a tremendous amount of time and money for customers. This work comes both at home and at the dealer level.

  1. Daily inspections: Customers should conduct daily inspections of all attachments to make sure hardware is assembled and functioning properly, and to search for any leaks or signs of damage
  2. Maintenance programs: Customers should be sure to follow Montabert’s recommended maintenance program, specific to each attachment
  3. Routine service checks: Customers should schedule routine service checks with their dealer to prolong the life of the machine

“Repairs can become expensive when routine maintenance is not carried out,” Clinton said. “Small issues can lead to very large problems if they are not fixed in a timely manner.” Some common issues Clinton sees as a service manager include damaged strike pistons and cylinder oil leaks from worn bushings, safety issues resulting from missing cap mounting hardware, or even major engine failure from running a breaker with contaminated oil. “In the long run, it’s better to spend money to invest in your attachment now, fixing minor issues, than ruin your machine and lose all productivity in the future.”

Visit our Montabert showroom to see our selection of Montabert Hammers, breakers and other attachments, then contact your local Power Equipment Location for more information on service and parts for your hammer attachments, regardless of the brand.

Komatsu hosts “day-in-the-life” construction career fair for three GA colleges

Chattahoochee Tech, Kennesaw State and Reinhart University students talk technology, job prospects and train on Komatsu equipment

Komatsu construction career fair

Rolling Meadows, Ill., January 31, 2017 – Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, recently hosted more than 30 students from three Atlanta-area colleges and technical schools at the Komatsu America, Cartersville, GA customer center training site. Students came to learn about construction-related jobs, as well as how to operate select Komatsu machines, including bulldozers, excavators, wheel loaders, and dump trucks.

As guests of Komatsu America and local distributors Tractor & Equipment, Co.; Linder Industrial Machinery Company; Brandeis Machinery; and Power Equipment Co., students from Chattahoochee Technical College, Reinhardt University and Kennesaw State University learned about a day in the work life of construction and mining employees, as well as current and future job opportunities.

Students also strapped on hardhats, climbed inside 20 foot, 200,000 lb. machines, and for an afternoon, received hands-on training and operated state-of-the-art construction equipment.

“It’s so important to do all we can to attract top talent to the industry,” said Tom Suess, director, training and publications for Komatsu America. “Komatsu and our local distributors jumped at the chance to host these students and their school administrators. I think we opened the eyes of some students today about how technologically and globally focused the industry is, and how bright a future they can have if they pursue a career in this field,” Suess said.

“I had never operated equipment before coming out here,” said Chattahoochee Tech student Chandler Firestine. “It’s been an awesome experience being able to really get inside one of the machines and see how they work mechanically…..especially being a diesel tech. I would love to come out here again and do it if I could,” Firestine said.

Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.

Power Equipment Company is a subsidiary of Bramco, Inc. headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Power, together with our sister company, Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company, we constitute one of the largest construction, mining, and forestry equipment distribution networks in the United States. Together, we have fourteen full-service branches throughout Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, Eastern Arkansas, Kentucky and Indiana. Power offers the most complete line of construction, mining, forestry equipment and services available. We are committed to providing the people, market-leading products and quality services to decrease our customer’s downtime and increase their production and profits – to give our customers The POWER TO PERFORM!

Vogele Pavers Part of Massive Road Building Project

In July, 2016 Vogele Pavers seen in this video are part of an enormous one-day road building project on Tverskaya Street in Russia.

This huge undertaking included over 300 units including Vogele Pavers and various other support equipment including rollers and haulers. The project required over 8,000 tons of asphalt and resulted in over 32,000 square meters of product!

The street was paved in one-day as a single piece of asphalt which should result in improved performance over time.

Vogele pavers are world-renowned for their performance and reliability, whether here in the United States or half-way across the world, in Russia. Below is a time lapse of the road being constructed. Power Equipment Company is proud to be an authorized distributor of Vogele products.