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OSHA Training for Construction Industry

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 @ 08:43 AM
OSHA training for construction

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers Outreach Training for 4 industries: Construction, General Industry, Maritime, and Disaster Site Work. OSHA has done well over the years to expand the reach of their programs to help workers become more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights. Specifically, OSHA's Outreach Training Program provides training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of these workplace hazards. 

The construction industry deserves a little extra attention as it accounts for about 1 in 5 worker deaths. The Focus Four hazards (falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between) are especially dangerous. In fact, according to OSHA, eliminating the Focus Four would save over 600 workers' lives in America each year.

Here are OSHA's top violations as they relate to the construction industry and how you can learn more about/avoid them.


Construction Top Violations

1926.501 - Fall Protection

1926.451 - Scaffolding

1926.1053 - Ladders

Fall Protection

Designed to protect employees on walking/working surfaces with an unprotected side or edge above 6 feet.

Top 5 sections cited:

1926.501(b)(13) - Residential construction.
1926.501(b)(1) - Unprotected sides/edges.
1926.501(b)(10) - Roofing work on low-slope roofs.
1926.501(b)(11) - Steep roofs.
1926.501(b)(4)(i) - Holes and skylights.


Employers are bound to protect construction workers from falls and falling objects while working on or near scaffolding at heights of 10 feet or higher.

Top 5 sections cited:

1926.451(g)(1) - Each employee on a scaffold more than 10 ft above a lower level shall be protected from falling to that lower level.
1926.451(e)(1) - When scaffold platforms are more than 2 ft above or below a point of access. Cross braces shall not be used as a means of access.
1926.451(b)(1) - Working levels of scaffolds shall be fully planked or decked.
1926.451(g)(1)(vii) - Personal fall arrest systems or guardrails systems.
1926.451(g)(4)(i) - Guardrail systems shall be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms.


Covers general requirements for all ladders.

Top 5 sections cited:

1926.1053(b)(1) - Portable ladder access.
1926.1053(b)(4) - Shall be used only for the purpose for which they are designed.
1926.1053(b)(13) - The top or top step of a step ladder should not be used as a step.
1926.1053(b)(16) - With structural defects.
1926.1053(b)(22) - An employee shall not carry any object or load that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall.


OSHA training for construction @ STS

Now that you are aware of these heavily cited topics related to the construction industry, you can take steps in avoiding them. Your first might be to attend, or send your employees to attend a 10-hour OSHA training for construction. In this training, one will learn more about OSHA (and why we have the standards we do), health hazards in construction, personal protective and life-saving equipment, the Focus Four hazards (huge topic in construction), as well as some other construction related topics. For more information, or to attend our next OSHA 10 hour training for construction, click the button below. If you are in need of any other OSHA related safety training, visit our Training Services page to see what else Safety Training Services can offer you & your company.


Click here for OSHA 10 (Construction)

Tags: OSHA, construction industry, osha construction

OSHA's Top 10 Violations for 2015 and Trends for 2016

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

OSHA recently announced this fiscal year's preliminary list of their "Top 10" most frequently cited workplace safety violations. Below, you will find the list as well some insight on OSHA's new approach to inspections and trends for 2016. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing blog articles written with the intent of showcasing these top violations, and how to avoid them.

The "Top 10" for FY 2015 are:Fall protection is still the most cited OSHA safety violation

  1. Fall Protection (Construction) 
    • Standard Cited: 1926.501 - 6,721 violations
    • Violations up (6,143 in FY 2014)
  2. Hazard Communication
    • Standard Cited: 1910.1200 - 5,192 violations
    • Violations up (5,161 in FY 2014)
  3. Scaffolding (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.451 - 4,295 violations
    • Violations up (4,029 in FY 2014)
  4. Respiratory Protection
    • Standard Cited: 1910.134 - 3,305 violations
    • Violations down (3,223 in FY 2014)
  5. Lockout/Tagout
    • Standard Cited: 1910.147 - 3,002 violations
    • Violations up (2,704 in FY 2014)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks
    • Standard Cited: 1910.178 - 2,760 violations
    • Violations up (2,662 in FY 2014)
  7. Ladders (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.1053 - 2,489 violations
    • Violations up (2,448 in FY 2014)
  8. Electrical-Wiring Methods
    • Standard Cited: 1910.305 - 2,404 violations
    • Violations down (2,490 in FY 2014)
  9. Machine Guarding
    • Standard Cited: 1910.212 - 2,295 violations
    • Violations up (2,200 in FY 2014)
  10. Electrical-General Requirements
    • Standard Cited: 1910.303 - 1,973 violations
    • Violations down (2,056 in FY 2014)

Remember, these are what causes the majority of injuries and deaths as well as what a compliance officer would look for most often during inspections.

Also, OSHA had announced that it will change the way it approaches inspections. The plan was to (starting this month, October 2015) emphasize quality over quantity. The idea was that OSHA would then be able to tackle more complicated, time-consuming inspections and therefore more impactful inspections. There is a bit of pressure under the current system to make the numbers, and hopefully with a new system, more meaningful and effective inspections can occur and lead to improved worker safety.

The last piece to note is about enforcement trends. As the number of inspections may change going into 2016 due to the changes in their approach to inspections, the trend of paying higher fines per citation has been continued into 2015 and may very well continue into 2016 seeing as the new system of inspections will focus on these more impactful inspections. Also to note on that subject is OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) which saw an almost 25% increase from 2014 to 2015, and continues onwards to today. Lastly, many more OSHA inspections are brought about by employee complaints, as OSHA has reached out to employees directly and allows easier access for them to go online and reach out to OSHA. Unjustifed complaints come in, due to disgrunted employees or whatnot, but this can be reduced by creating good safety culture within their workplace. Expect this trend of more concerned employees reaching out to continue.

Tags: osha training, osha most cited, OSHA, osha compliance, osha top violations, osha safety, osha general industry training, osha safety topics, osha violations, osha safety training, osha violations 2015

(Too) Common Scissor & Forklift Sights, Made Right!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 @ 09:55 AM
      This blog article will be what is normally known as, "short but sweet." If you are unfamiliar with that term, ultimately what it means is that there is a small, digestable amount of content here but the effects of it are well received. I have, in recent memory, come across a few pictures and topics that I wanted to discuss with a community who values safety and believes that a good safety culture can prevent accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities.

      As an instructor of aerial work platforms (AWPs) & powered industrial trucks (PITs), I have the privilege of being able to visit many different workplaces. In doing this I see a lot of sites and because of this, I am able to fully understand how these lifts are being used in the field. In operator training we learn about how to safely operate the machine, however we couldn't hope to cover every instance of do's & don'ts that can come up. So I have decided to write this article as an extension of the training we provide in our forklift and scissor & boom lift training courses. All of these pictures/scenarios should be thought of as laterally applied to all makes/models of the specific lift (scissor or forklift, respectively).

      I have chosen four scenarios related to scissor lifts and forklifts that will showcase real applications (some not so safe) of these lifts to raise awareness both of the hazards of this type of usage but also why they are dangerous and what to do/use as an acceptable alternate.

Without further ado, here is the first scenario.

Scenario 1: Extension Deck Use


      Taking a look at this picture, a few things come into mind. The chain & rope/webbing used could or could not be rated for the work load, the scissor lift isn't on the same horizontal platform as the trailer used for the wielding work, and of course, how can one be sure the trailer stays at an optimal horizontal level? One slip of the trailer forward and the beam is suspended and would most likely pull the lift over with it. That brings me to my most important point, using the extension deck as an overhead crane is not allowed by the manufacturer. The biggest hazard in a scissor lift is a tip over hazard and this type of use for a scissor lift creates a huge potential tip over hazard. As I said earlier, use the pictures here laterally across all makes and models. With that being said, I took the liberty to look up a few different scissor lift manuals and find out what their load limits are for the extension deck.

Genie GS-2032: Platform extended - Extension only 250 lbs or 113 kg
Genie GS-2632: Platform extended - Extension only 250 lbs or 113 kg
Skyjack SJIII 3215: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 250 lbs or 113 kg
Skyjack SJIII 3219: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 250 lbs or 113 kg
Skyjack SJIII 3220: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 250 lbs or 113 kg
Skyjack SJIII 3226: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 250 lbs or 113 kg
Skyjack SJIII 4620: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 299 lbs or 136 kg
Skyjack SJIII 4626: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 299 lbs or 136 kg
Skyjack SJIII 4632: Manual Extension Platform Capacity - 250 lbs or 113 kg

And of course, the Condor 2633 shown in the picture: Rated Work Load on extension deck only - 250 lbs.

      So the real question is if that steel beam is over 250 lbs.? I'd venture a guess and say that's correct with an almost certainty. This, again, creates a tip over hazard and thus, should be avoided. As a last note, these capacities are rated for a person and/or tools ON the extension deck, not hanging or fixed items attached to the deck. In fact, it clearly states in every one of these manuals that no objects should be attached (fixed or hanging) to any part of the machine.

Now onto the second scenario.

Scenario 2: Top Rail Use


       This one is a bit more straight-forward, as many people seem to know that you are not supposed to use the top rail, specifically (as shown here) setting up a ladder on top of the top rail is quite dangerous. The stability of the machine is rated to a specific load weight and by climbing on or adding a ladder to the top rail you are creating more of a tip over hazard. Not to mention, there is a maximum side load force on that rail and by adding additional weight (as in a human or a ladder with a human) you can actually cause that rail to collapse under the weight and of course then a fall occurs. Since there is no fall protection necessary for a scissor lift, falling is not going to be a pleasant situation for anyone. Again, this one should be known to many, but unfortunately we see this scenario too often when an employee is trying to create an extra few feet (sometime inches) to reach whatever it is that they are working on. Frankly, if you can't reach what you are trying to work on with the scissor lift in question, you have two choices: either get a new lift (bigger scissor, boom lift, etc.) or don't do the job. Unfortunately, sometimes bosses don't want to hear this so you are caught in a predicament. Well, to help your protest, here is the citeable OSHA standard used to regulate such behavior:

"Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket, and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position." 

Now onto scenario three.

Scenario #3: Forklift Standing on Forks/Mast


      Once again, this is generally for the reason I spoke of earlier, which is an additional few feet or so to the task at hand. Having someone ride the forks like an elevator may also be used because a company/ the individual doesn't have access to a proper machine such as a scissor lift or even better in many cases, a boom lift. Either that or they are some ignorant operators enjoying what they think is a toy in which case, that calls into question whether they were properly trained in the first place. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss the former. Seeing this picture, I understand very well what they were attempting to do. It would be a good assumption to say that they didn't have a way to get to those stage lights and so the idea they settled on was to ride the forks to the top of the mast. This is a huge hazard, and the way to avoid is simply to have the correct tools for the job. Seeing as this is outside, a rented boom lift would solve this problem quite easily. Another option would be to purchase or rent an attachment for their forklift that would allow a person to "ride" on the forks. This is usually a cage or platform made for such purposes. Certainly, just about any other option than having a person try to balance themselves 20+ feet in the air on the mast of a forklift!

Onto our final scenario.

Scenario #4: Ladders on Forklift Forks


      This last picture/scenario is another one that I have seen posted a few times before. Going along with the previous scenario, where we learned (or reaffirmed) that standing on the mast or the forks without the proper attachment is dangerous and a fineable offense from OSHA, propping a ladder up on the forks is more of the same with regards to hazards and "don't do's." First off, there is a stability issue. Wind is a factor, unlevel ground is a factor, the forklift that you no longer control is a factor. In fact, that is ultimately what I want to point out here. As I said, much of what I talked about in the third scenario applies here, however I am able to talk about one additional important factoid related to forklifts and aerial lifts in general, and that is the control of the machine via the operator. One of the biggest reasons scissor lifts were created to begin with is because they allowed for the operator to both drive and elevate themselves without needing a second person. If you had a ladder on top of a truck or van, even if it was 100% stable, you still have to come back down to ground level to move your working platform (the ladder), not to mention the additional hazard of someone else (even if accidentally) can come and move the vehicle while you are suspended in mid-air! These hazards were mitigated by the use of scissor lifts, where we can go up, for example, and fix a light bulb and then while still elevated, we can drive to the next bulb and finish a row in minutes instead of an hour of up, down, drive, up, down, drive, etc. This scenario is harking back to the "old, dangerous days" of having no way of controlling the working platform while elevated. If that ladder gives, you're hurting. If the forklift moves, you're hurting. If the wind picks up, you're hurting. And with no fall protection required on a ladder, you can imagine what the outcome would look like. Again, the use of an industrial scissor lift (industrial because this picture takes place outside) would a great option, or again, a boom lift would suffice. With a boom lift, you could be relatively far away from roads, trees, power lines, etc. and simply extend the boom platform right up to where you need to work, and you have all the control in the moving of both your cage/working platform, and the driving of the machine is also in your hands. 

      Now, I understand that some of these options may set one back more time and/or money. But I assure you the cost of training yourself or your employees properly to use of these machines, or the cost of renting/buying one of these pieces of equipment or an additional lift is leagues below the cost of a settlement, the cost of a life, the cost of a lawsuit, the cost of an OSHA fine, and/or the cost of the worker's compensation paid out to the affected party. There are direct and indirect costs to these, whether you know it or not, that make these the more expensive options! The cost of a rental boom is nothing compared to the millions or even billions (depending on your company) in just indirect costs alone! These are what you don't think of when in the moment and tell an employee or think to yourself, "It'll only take a moment." That moment is all that is needed for an incident to occur and a terrible fate to potentially follow. If you agree, share this article and help promote a good, solid safety culture at your workplace. If you disagree, tell me below why and I will be sure to take some time and discuss your thoughts with you. Thank you for reading!
If you have a need for aerial lift or forklift training, or any other OSHA-related training, STS is ready to assist you in choosing the right training for your situation. We also offer PPE, air monitoring equipment, fall protection, first aid kits, AEDs, and many things in between! We are available to your company for consulting work, to assist you with any rescue team needs, as well as supplied air trailers available for rent! Contact us below to find out how our blended safety services can assist ANY company with safety or OSHA related needs.

Contact STS Today!

Tags: OSHA, awp training, forklift safety, aerial lift operator training, scissor lift safety, boom lift training, osha safety topics, osha violations

Fire Extinguisher Training: Selection, Placement, and NFPA Facts

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Previously, we did an article on fire extinguisher service and the steps involved in monthly inspection. I wanted to take this a step further and discuss a few more topics related to fire extinguishers because we are all familiar with them, know what they are and for the most part, how they work. In order to fill in the few gaps left, we have put together this article covering training, selection, and location of fire extinguishers along with some statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

So you’re ready to buy a fire extinguisher? Well first you need to know what you are using it for in order to choose the correct class of extinguisher. Below you will find a chart matching the facility with what fire extinguisher to be used:




Home/Office Paper, computers, copiers, cloth, trash ABC
Server Room Servers, computers, paper, trash Clean agent,
carbon dioxide, water mist
Kitchen (Commercial) Grease fire Class K
Kitchen (Home/Office) Electrical equipment, grease fires Wet chemical, BC
Warehouse Gasoline, grease, oil, paint,
flammable liquids
Boiler Room Flammable liquids BC
Liquid Storage
Flammable liquids ABC, carbon dioxide
Operating Room 
Electrical equipment Clean agent,
carbon dioxide, water mist
Chemical Facility Chemicals, wood, paper, trash ABC
fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, osha

As you can see, having an ABC fire extinguisher in most instances will take care of most fires. You simply need to be aware of the few instances where this is not the case. Electrical equipment, servers, and grease fires are the big ones to note. This requires a different type of fire extinguisher as seen above.

Now that you have your extinguisher type picked, your next task is to select an appropriate placement for the extinguisher. Remember when selecting a place for your fire extinguisher, they must be selected and positioned based on the potential type and size of fire that can occur [29 CFR 1910.157(d)(1)].

Fire extinguisher locations should be:

  • Easily accessible
  • Not blocked by equipment or other materials
  • Near normal paths of travel
  • Near entrance and exit doors
  • Readily visible
  • Mounted on a wall or placed in a fire extinguisher cabinet

Fire extinguisher travel distance varies on its classification:

fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, oshaOnce a fire extinguisher has been selected and placed in compliance with OSHA/NFPA standards, you then need to know how to use it. Training for yourself and/or employees is a very important step and should not be overlooked. The unfortunate reality, as you’ll see further below via the NFPA stats, is that fires happen all the time. Having properly learned how to use an extinguisher can save someone’s life. Below you find training specifics, as presented by the 1910.157 OSHA standard guidelines, as well as a few tips for how to engage employees further with hands-on training.


OSHA Training Standard Guidelines – 1910.157

  • Have all employees who are expected to use fire extinguishers in an emergency been trained in the principles of extinguisher use and the hazards involved? [(g)(1)]
  • Are employees trained when initially hired and then at least annually thereafter? [(g)(2)]
  • Have all employees specifically designated as emergency responders in your emergency action plan (fire brigades, for example) been trained to use appropriate fire-fighting equipment? [(g)(3)]
  • Do these specially designated employees receive training when they are initially assigned their special duties and at least annually thereafter? [(g)(4)]

Tips for hands-on training (to further engage & educate employees):

  • Simulate various fire situationsfire extinguishers, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, osha
    • Include different types of fires
  • Consider using digital fire simulators
    • Train anywhere, safer than conventional fire extinguisher training, different difficulty levels, no recharging extinguishers
  • Have employees work with varying sizes of extinguishers
    • Help employees to understand the potentials and limits of each type
  • Teach employees to maintain proper distance from fires
    • This is dependent on the size of extinguishers used and type of fire
    • Make sure to demonstrate how to properly move away from a fire once it is believed to be under control
  • Teach employees to check the pressure gauges and test extinguishers before approaching a fire.
    • An excellent learning tool can include having trainees select from multiple training extinguishers where one or more are not fully charged
  • Keep class sizes small, ideally fewer than 20 students at a time.
    • This makes it easier for everyone to participate and stay engaged
  • Allow all trainees to extinguish the fire and provide them with opportunities to refine their technique and retry if they fail

FIRES IN THE U.S. (Provided by NFPA)

In 2012, there were 1,375,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths, 16,500 civilian injuries, and $12.4 billion in property damage.

  • 480,500 were structure fires, causing 2,470 civilian deaths, 14,700 civilian injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.
  • 172,500 were vehicle fires, causing 300 civilian fire deaths, 800 civilian fire injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage.
  • 692,000 were outside and other fires, causing 60 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $813 million in property damage.

fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, oshaThe 2012 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.

  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 32 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 3 hours and 4 minutes.
  • One outside fire was reported every 46 seconds.
  • One vehicle fire was reported every 156 seconds.
If you want your employees to use fire extinguishers correctly and effciently in an emergency, you must make sure they are fully trained. For more information, feel free to check out our fire extinguisher training course here:

Click Here for Fire  Extinguisher Training

Tags: OSHA, importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher class, fire extinguisher maintenance

Fire Extinguisher Service & the 7 Steps of Monthly Inspections

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Feb 04, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

When it comes to fire extinguisher inspections, many of us think that annually you should be checking your fire extinguisher(s) and getting them serviced or refilled. Hopefully, you do at least this otherwise what I'm about to say may shock you.

You must do a monthly inspection of all of your fire extinguishers in your home/workplace.

importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionLuckily for us, this is a simple 7 step process that will become routine in time. The first two things you must know before starting an inspection of your fire extinguishers are:

  • Who is responsible for doing the monthly checks? If you are at home reading this, it may be a simple answer of yourself. But if you are at work then who is responsible? 
    • Whoever is should always be; it tends to be easier this way. The person held accountable gets used to that responsibility.
  • Before doing a monthly fire extinguisher inspection, you should always have a pen or marker and a rag with you.

Now that you have decided who will be responsible and they have all the necessary materials to check the fire extinguisher, here are the 7 steps to follow in order to properly inspection your fire extinguisher.
  1. As you as approaching the fire extinguisher, you should first be checking that it is readily available. This means that it is not blocked by any objects, is not difficult to get to, and is within reach. It should be mounted with a sign above that states that an extinguisher is underneath.  
  • If anything is blocking the fire extinguisher, now is the time to resolve the issue.
  • Your next check is to pick up the extinguisher. Is it a powder type? Youimportance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspection must prevent the powder from settling. Go ahead, give it a shake. While its in your hands, is it any lighter than usual or than you'd expect? Call your servicing company (or Safety Training Services here) to have them check it out. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • The next check should be to check the extinguisher all over for dents, rust, oil, etc. If any substance (such as oil) is on it, dampen your rag and wipe it off. If there is any rust or the extinguisher has severe abuse, replace it soon as possible.
  • Mount the fire extinguisher back on the wall, make sure the instructions are still legible, and check the labels. Make sure to turn extinguisher so that the label is facing outward.
    • If the label is missing or anything is illegible, get a new label when possible. You may even, depending on the extinguisher's state, look into purchasing a whole new fire extinguisher.
  • importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionNow that the extinguisher is placed correctly and the label is facing outward, check the pin or safety seal. It should still be intact; if not, you should replace the fire extinguisher.
  • You should now look check the gauge. Is it still in the green zone? If not, call a service person/company immediately to have the extinguisher serviced and back in working order.
  • Lastly, make sure to check the tag on the fire extinguisher to verify that yearly service has been done within the last year. This is usually marked off on the tag or hole-punched (month/year). Most service companies sign off or mark when the inspection took place, not when its due, so be sure to take a moment to process the information so that you are in compliance with the yearly inspection. Check with your servicing company (or simply contact STS here) if you need assistance. If your fire extinguisher has NOT been serviced in the last year, call immediately to schedule for that to be done.
  • importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionCongratulations, your monthly inspection is complete. Be sure to sign your initials on the tag when it has space for monthly inspections. This verifies that the extinguisher is up-to-date and also proves to OSHA (if need arises) that a monthly inspection has been performed. 

    Click here for more about Fire Extinguisher Services

    If you want some or all of your employees to use fire extinguishers in an emergency, you must make sure they are fully trained. We will discuss fire extinguisher training; some issues and some safety tips in the next safety blog article! In the meantime, feel free to check out our fire extinguisher training course here:

    Click Here for Fire  Extinguisher Training

    Tags: OSHA, importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher class, fire extinguisher maintenance

    Aerial Lift Training (Pt 2): Compliance, Training and Familiarization

    Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Oct 04, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

    We wrote last week about the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), what exactly aerial work platforms (AWPs) are, the current issues facing the industry, and some tips to keep you safe on an AWP. This week, we will focus on compliance requirements, operator familiarization and general training.


    ANSI standards heavily promote safety by developing recommendations and guidelines; however these standards are to be considered best practices, and are not laws or regulations. Compliance with ANSI standards is voluntary.

    OSHA, OSHA training, OSHA safety, AWP OSHAThe Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), a government agency that issues and enforces regulations for employers to ensure workplace health and safety. These regulations are often referred to as standards, but they are in fact laws and compliance is mandatory.

    So Why Comply?

    It is true that ANSI is voluntary, and OSHA is mandatory, however it is to be noted that the OSHA regulations were in fact based on ANSI standards. Basically, once OSHA adopts the ANSI standards as their own, they no longer are voluntary and become law.

    AWP, AWP Safety, AWP Training, aerial lift trainingDespite ANSI standards being voluntary, it is in every company’s best interest to comply. Because OSHA law many times is adopted from ANSI standards, the standards in the ANSI handbook are considered a consensus of what’s best to keep employees safe and because of this OSHA can decide that the company is not “free from recognized hazards” and cite the company for the “general duty” clause for not following ANSI standards. So as it turns out, ANSI standards may not be as “voluntary” as expressed. Keep yourself and your employee’s safe, by following the ANSI guidebooks as mandatory as OSHA law.


    Prior to use of an AWP, the operator must be trained before operation of the unit. This training should include the inspection, application, recognition, and avoidance of hazards associated with the equipment. As stated earlier, familiarization of the specific model of equipment should also be received prior to operating. Here is outline of each as stated by ANSI A92 Standards.

    TrainingAWP training, AWP safety, aerial lift training

    • Essentially what prepares an operator to operate AWP
    • Can teach multiple pieces of equipment of a particular type
    • Covers broad types (push-around, boom lifts, scissor lifts, trailer-mounted boom lifts), as opposed to specific manufacturer/models
    • Includes classroom/”formal” training as well as “hands-on”/practical

    ANSI A92.5 & A92.6 extensively cover instructions for operators regarding the inspection, application and operation of AWP equipment. Proper training should include, but not limited to the following issues and requirements:

    • Actual operation of the aerial platform performed “under the direction of a qualified person.”
    • Trainee is to operate the aerial platform(s) for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate proficiency in the actual operation of all functions of the aerial platform.
    • Much of the training should take place in the classroom.
    • Regulations and standards shall be discussed.
    • The need to perform workplace inspections.
    • Recognition and avoidance of common hazards.
    • Operator warnings and instructions.
    • The purpose, location and use of manuals.
    • A proper, full pre-start inspection.
    • Factors affecting stability.
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE) for use on AWPs.
    • General equipment components.
    • Safe use of equipment.
    • The proper selection of the AWP equipment for the job at hand.
    • The application and understanding of typical options that are likely associated with larger machines: e.g. outriggers/stabilizers, extendable axles, etc.

    awp training, awp safety, aerial lift trainingWhen properly trained, an operator is ready to operate any like-type of AWP as long as they are familiarized with the controls/safety devices of the other like-type equipment. Remember, when training takes place on a particular model of equipment, you must become “familiar” with other equipment models that were not included in the initial instruction so as not to put the operator at risk of danger/injury because of failure to know specific controls/safety devices. For example,  certain manufacturers/models have different emergency lowering procedures, so familiarization is just as critical as general training. You wouldn’t want to be stuck up 30 ft in the air on a scissor lift with no one around, not knowing how to get down!

    Familiarizationawp training, safety training, aerial lift training

    • Prepares an operator to operate specific manufacturers/models of AWP equipment (once general training has taken place)
    • For use in operating a foreign manufacturer/model of AWP to a qualified operator
    • Example: Manufacturer X Model XXX, Manufacturer Y Model YYY, Manufacturer Z Model ZZZ
    • Prior to use of unfamiliarized AWP; look through/use of manual & a someone familiar with model

    ANSI A92.5 and A92.6 Standards (Section 8.5.3, specifically) state that:

    “When an operator is directed to operate an aerial platform he/she is not familiar with, the operator shall receive instructions regarding the following items:
    1. The location of the weather resistant compartment (for manual storage).
      1. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that the correct manuals are in fact on board the unit as required by Section 8.2 of ANSI A2 Standards and that he/she be familiar with the manuals and reference them as required in Section 8.2.1.
    2. The purpose and function of all controls.
    3. Safety devices and operating characteristics specific to the aerial platform.”

    awp training, safety training, osha aerial lift, aerial lift trainingRemember, familiarization must be facilitated by a qualified person. Only someone who is already trained and qualified may self-familiarize by reading and understanding the manual/operating instructions. Always refer to the operator’s manual if you have any questions, you might be surprised to find out how much information is actually in there!





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    Tags: osha training, OSHA, aerial lift safety training, awp training, osha compliance, aerial lift training, aerial lift operator training, aerial work platform training, awp safety

    Breaking it down | Protecting America's Workers Act (PAWA)

    Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

    The OSH Act (That created OSHA) was passed over 40 years ago in order to protect America’s workers. Since then, great progress towards keeping America’s workers safe has been made. However, more work must still be done as we still have the statistics, almost daily, about serious injuries and/or fatalities.

    In 2010 alone, over 4,600 workers were killed and 3.8 million workers reported injuries (and think about how many DIDN’T report). That makes an average of almost 13 injuries per day!

    So a return to a previous idea of updating OSH Act in the form of a bill, Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), with the intent to expand & strengthen workplace safety laws. PAWA was introduced a few different ways before in several congressional sessions, but never passed.

    What is PAWA? Well it looks to update/amend OSHA to cover more workers, update penalties, strengthen protections, enhance public accountability, clarify an employer's duty to provide safe work environment. What does it entail? Let’s take a look at what PAWA aims to do:

    Cover more workers
    • Over 8.5 million workers are not covered by OSHA. This includes federal, state, local public employees and some private sector.
    • PAWA would include flight attendants, state correctional officers and workers in government agencies and provides OSHA protections to these workers.
    Beavis & Butthead - Breaking the LawIncrease penalties for law-breakers
    • Current law says willful OSHA violations that lead to a worker's death may be charged, at most, with a misdemeanor.
    • Repeated and willful OSHA violations that result in serious injury or death can be charged as felony.
    • Updates OSHA civil penalties (unchanged since 1990). Sets minimum penalty of $50,000 for worker death caused by a willful violation.
    Protects whistle-blowers on unsafe conditions in the workplace
    • OSHA's whistleblower provisions have had no update since adoption...in 1970.
    • Updates those whistleblower protections by incorporating successful administrative procedures adopted in other laws (like the Surface Transportation Act).
    Enhances the public's right to know about safety violations
    • Improves public accountability and transparency.
      • Mandates Department of Labor (DOL) investigates all cases of death or serious incidents of injury at work.
    • Gives workers (and their families) the right to meet with DOL investigators.
    • Requires employers to inform workers of their OSHA rights.
    Clarifies employer's duty to provide a safe work environment, equipment and track recordable injuries/illnesses for all workers on-Caution - Recordable Injury Signsite
    • Amends the General Duty Clause to include all workers on the worksite.
    • Clarifies employer responsibility to provide the necessary safety equipment to their workers (example: PPE).
    • Directs DOL to revise regulations  for site-controlling employers to keep a site log for all recordable injuries and illnesses among all employees on the worksite.

    That about wraps up PAWA and its goals. Think for a moment about these questions and then comment what you think in the box below!
    • Does this frame of mind have merit
    • Do you think this should be passed
    • As an employee, do you feel this is headed in the right direction? 
    • As an employer, do you feel this is headed in the right direction? 
    No matter what side of the fence you are on, how can workplace safety training companies continue to assist employees & employers while its being negotiated?
    Click here   for our Safety  Training Courses

    Tags: PAWA, OSHA, safe work environment, safety training, protecting america's workers, workplace safety