The Occupational Safety And Health Administration: An Industrial Guideline

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created an industrial guideline that provides specific and helpful managing instruction to help employees and employers to mitigate workplace injuries. Under General Duty, Section 5(a)(1), even if there are no industry-specific standards within OSHA guidelines, the employer still has responsibility keeping the workplace environment safe from known danger risks. Although there is no possible way for OSHA to consistently implemented new rules and regulations that the company encountered every day, it is a general duty that would usually allow OSHA to issue citations to employers for any offense that is not presented outlined within the CFR. OSHA recommends employers to adopt successful initiatives or other ergonomic mitigation strategies. For the employer to fall within the violation citation of the general duty clause, the violation must meet the four conditions. The first condition is, the hazard must be recognized, a case where employer acknowledge that there a hazard in the workplaces but does not take appropriate steps to prevent or reduce the hazards are subject to citation. Second, the hazard must be recognizable. Any task performs by employees that observable by a supervisor. Third, hazards which lead to serious hard or death. Fourth, hazards must have the means to be correct, which means that hazards could be eliminated, or substitute.

An example of a violation of Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, within my scope of the workplace, is the common use of the come-along tool. The come-along is a device that is used to pull or push heavy objects such as pipe or bulkhead (wall of the ship) into a desirable position. Because the come along tools is a common tool, in our workplace, employees will improperly use them over the capacity limited. The rating load capacity display is printed in paint, making it hard to read due to scratch and scuff from everyday use, thus, the caution label is ignored. In this case, this particular employee proceeds to use it on a six-inch pipe to bend in back in place by constantly cranking without acknowledging the max capacity, at each crank the load capacity increase. Thus, resulting in the come-along tools to snap, causing a whiplash chain knocking the employee unconscious.

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The situation presented meets the requirements for the general duty clause. First criteria, the employer failed to keep the workplace free from hazards, because the uses of over load bearing that was not intended rated for. If employer scribe the load capacity instead of using paint to print the load capacity, employees would consider using a bigger come-along. Second criteria, employee was knock unconscious, in worst case, internal head injuries may lead to death. Third criteria, is method to correct the hazards, by using the crane or redesign to avoid bending the pipe in place.


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