OSHA's Top 10 Moneymakers (SIC 3451) For 2004

The safety of our employees has always been a guiding principle in the precision machining industry. So, what are the areas that we need to focus on for our continuous improvement efforts? Here is a table of what OSHA inspectors cited in our industry for the October 2003 to September 2004 fiscal year.

With 13 citations in nine inspections, “Control of Hazardous Energy- Lockout/Tagout” was the number one category by frequency and number two in penalty dollars ($4,910). “Lockout/Tagout” should be your shop’s emphasis for retraining. Do it now.

The category “General Requirements for Machines” was cited 12 times in eight inspections, ranking it number two in frequency, but number one in penalty dollars ($7,763). This is the standard that covers machine guarding, both general and point-of-use.

“Electrical, Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment” was cited 11 times in four inspections for $3,136 in penalties. This standard was third in both frequency and penalty dollars for our industry.

Next was “Electrical Systems Design, General Requirements,” cited six times in four inspections ($1,710 in penalty dollars). That ranks fourth in both frequency and penalty dollars. You should have your maintenance supervisor review your company’s compliance with these electrical standards as well as the above-mentioned machine general requirements standard.

Does everyone in your operation know where to find MSDS sheets? Are they complete and up to date? “Hazard Communication” was fifth in frequency and penalty dollars ($1,300) with five violations in three inspections. The information on MSDS sheets is critical for your people to have. Compliance here really just requires training and discipline to obtain and file these sheets. Don’t simply audit the training and MSDS files. Audit your process to ensure that your future will be violation-free.
“Walking Work Surfaces, General Requirements” didn’t make the top five violations for our industry, but it is hot on the heels at number six in both frequency (five violations in five inspections) and penalty dollars ($1,050). This is an area that calls for daily vigilance.

The standard “Grinders and Abra-sive Wheel Machinery” was cited three times in three inspections for $953 in penalties. If you have any questions on this standard, see the article “My Hopeful Wager: Wanna Make A Bet?” in the February 2005 issue of Production Machining.

“Usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” also requires management’s constant vigilance. It was number eight in frequency and dollars, with three citations in two inspections and $800 in penalties. You should revisit your training with all personnel, as well as model the behaviors expected by management.

“Portable Fire Extinguishers” come in at number nine with three violations in three inspections and $800 in penalties. We have plenty of flammables in our shop. Having portable fire extinguishing equipment properly deployed is essential. During my days as a shop supervisor, this was a monthly inspection item.

Finally, there’s “Mechanical Power Transmission Apparatus,” cited twice in two inspections for $860. That’s OSHA’s Top Ten for our industry. Now, use it as your own Top Ten list for improving your shop’s safety.