The Importance of Eye and Respiratory Protection
One of the main OSHA violations in the workplace is providing inadequate means of eye and respiratory protection for workers. To keep workers healthy and safe on the job, employers must provide the correct equipment to protect them from danger. If an employer is purchasing equipment, they must also assess what equipment is the correct choice. This will depend on the worker’s position and the job hazards that are present.
Employees must use eye protection when dealing with hazards such as molten metal, acids, flying particles, liquid chemicals, chemical gases, or possible light radiation. In some situations, they must also be provided with side protection. Hefty fines can be brought if protection is disregarded – starting at $13,260 for a serious violation, $132,598 for willful violations, and that is only in janitorial positions alone.
Employees must use respiratory protection when dealing with hazards such as mists, dusts, fumes, fogs, smokes, vapors, sprays, gases, and radionuclides. It must be a facial protective piece that can protect the workers from dangerous elements in the air. The average amount for each citation, in years past, was estimated at $631.72 per citation. However, for repeated or willful violations, the fine only increases.
When the employer decides what equipment to use, the decision should be based on the assessment of the hazards in the workplace. This includes testing which can include different methods such as mathematical, sampling, and modeling. The decision must also qualify for full protection as stated on the OSHA website.
Is it really worth the risk and fine to ignore safety protocols? One of the biggest items on your list, for a happy and successful staff, is making sure they have proper eye and respiratory protection while on the job. It’s your job to make sure they go home without any incidents and to ensure proper safety by following OSHA guidelines.
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