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Emphasize Safety with PPE

Emphasize Safety with PPE

Instilling and maintaining workplace safety is no easy task, especially in an industrial environment. Workplaces have many different high risks depending on the industry, ranging from slips and falls to dangerous equipment and machinery or toxic chemicals. Establishing a safe workplace can be a large undertaking—having the proper equipment to uphold safety standards and regulations will help prevent employee injury.

The Cost of an Unsafe Workplace

Personal protective equipment can be costly, especially for those companies and organizations with a large number of employees. Below you will find a few examples of common OSHA violations:

  • Serious: OSHA penalizes serious violations when an employee suffers a severe injury or dies on the job. Often these violations occur when an employer could have known about the risk prior. OSHA may issue mandatory penalties of up to $14,502 for each serious violation.
  • Other than Serious: This violation type arises from hazards that have a direct correlation to workplace safety and health but do not have the ability to cause death or serious injury. Other-than-serious violations come with a $7,000 discretionary fine.
  • Willful: This type of violation occurs when employers know they are in violation of OSHA standards. These are companies or organizations that are aware of hazards but present no solution to fix them. Fines range from $5,000 to $70,000 for each violation. If a willful violation caused a death, employers may be subject to court-imposed fines or even imprisonment. Criminal convictions may result in a $250,000 fine for an individual or a $500,000 penalty for an organization.
  • Repeat: After OSHA cites companies for any of the above violations, failure to fix the issue may result in a repeat violation. Employers can also be cited for similar hazards, not just the same problem. These violations can cost up to $70,000 per citation.

The costs for noncompliance are steep, and the costs of criminal convictions for willful violations can put companies and organizations out of business in some cases. Employers should take steps to create a safer work environment with the proper personal protective equipment rather than spending larger sums of money on violations.

Selecting the Proper PPE to Reduce Workplace Hazards

The use of PPE minimizes one’s exposure to chemicals, electricity, and other potential workplace hazards. PPE can include gloves, safety glasses, coveralls, face masks, hair nets, shoe covers, and more. All PPE must be properly fitted for work to ensure not only comfort but also safety. The use of poorly fitted PPE can lead to workplace illness or injury, as it puts employees at risk.

Establishing a program for compliance is a great way for employers to ensure PPE is being properly used and worn throughout the workplace. Just providing the equipment is not enough to keep your employees safe. A strong program addresses the existing workplace hazards in addition to training employees when PPE is necessary, the types needed, as well as how to properly wear and remove it.

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