The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is focusing its attention on what some call the "Big 4" causes of jobsite injuries and deaths: falls, trench and excavation accidents, electrocutions, and workers being struck by or caught by equipment. In addition to the focus on these hazards, local emphasis by OSHA compliance officers on specific aspects of jobsite safety, like scaffolding for example, means they may stop to inspect a site even if they don't see evidence of violations. Then, any violation they do see can lead to trouble?and costly citations.
OSHA's guidelines for safety in each area are easily obtained by contacting your local compliance office or reviewing compliance information on the agency's Web site, www.osha.gov. You also can arrange for risk-free consultations through OSHA's free Consultation Program for small- and medium-sized companies. Consultants will walk your work sites with you and point out problems and remedies without issuing citations or imposing penalties for anything they see. These are not enforcement officers, and their visits are confidential. They will meet with you before and after their walkthrough to review their findings, and then summarize them in a written report that you can use to guide your safety program. You also can use the service to help develop and maintain a safety program and provide training and education for your employees.
To learn more about this program, visit www.osha.gov and click on "Consultation" on the home page. OSHA's Web site content also is available in Spanish.