Today’s Advisor reports on several workplace fatalities that may have been prevented with more effective safety training.
Case studies provide real-life examples of why it is important for learners to complete safety training and apply that knowledge back on the job.
In the month of June 2013 alone, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued statements regarding citations to five companies where training might have helped save a worker’s life.
1. OSHA proposed fines of $157,000 against a plumbing company as a result of a January 16 incident in which a worker died from injuries sustained when a trench collapsed at a job site in Hastings, Nebraska. The company was cited for failing to train workers on trenching hazards and four other safety violations.
“This tragedy might have been prevented with the use of protective shoring that the company planned to bring to the job site that afternoon. All too often, compromising safety procedures has tragic consequences, and hazards like these cause numerous deaths and injuries every year,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “No job should cost a worker’s life because an employer failed to properly protect and train them.”
2. OSHA also cited waste treatment facility for 22 safety and health violations and proposed $325,710 in fines as a result of a December 28 fire and explosion at the Cincinnati waste treatment facility in which a worker was fatally burned. The violations include failure to provide new training to employees assigned to handle waste materials, to train workers on the selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for protection from various materials that are part of their routine assignments, and to provide training and PPE to employees assigned to work on energized circuits.
3. Penalties totaling $116,200 were proposed against a lumber company in Timpson, Texas, stemming from a December incident in which a worker was killed after being struck by a broken band saw blade. The 17 alleged safety violations include failure to provide easily understood lockout/tagout training for energy control and to certify that energy control training was completed and current.
4. Among other things, OSHA cited a trucking company in Ross, North Dakota, for failing to train workers on chemical hazards and precautions after a worker was fatally injured on March 27 while cleaning the inside of a crude oil tanker that exploded.
5. OSHA also cited tool manufacturer for 17 safety violations, including lack of training, after a maintenance worker was electrocuted on March 6 in Fenton, Missouri.
Each company had 15 days to comply with the citations, request a conference, or contest the citations and penalties.
Learn from the failures of these companies to protect their employees, and make any needed changes in your own safety training programs to ensure such tragedies don’t happen in your workplace.
Why It Matters
- Safety on the job is a top priority for employees and employers alike.
- Safety training is a key component of every safety program.
- Keep your employees safe—and avoid expensive citations—by continually evaluating your safety program and its training component.