Answers to OSHA violations photo quiz

Mark McLaughlin, MANCOMM
Tags: workplace safety

The imaginary company depicted in the picture on Page 52 of Reliable Plant’s July/August issue is doing some redecorating in their reception area. They’re also about to celebrate an employee’s birthday. They had better hope an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector doesn’t crash the party. How many OSHA violations can you spot? Some of the violations shown are fairly obvious, while others will require a strong knowledge of OSHA regulations.

 

The professionals at MANCOMM, a publishing company specializing in safety products, created that picture through extensive digital retouching.

 

“This fictional scenario depicts a wide variety of workplace hazards,” said MANCOMM president Benjamin Mangan. “Management and workers alike need to stay alert to potential dangers at all times.”

Consider yourself well-versed in OSHA matters if you can spot at least 10 violations; more are listed in the answers. For an extra challenge, see if you can quote the regulation number addressing each violation.

 

ANSWERS: The violations are given along with the regulation numbers that address them. Note that some are dated to reflect how the regulations will change in August 2007. It is wise to make sure you always have the latest regulations on hand.

 

1. Radio on the counter is plugged in via an extension cord.
1910.305(g)(1)(iii)[A]: Flexible cords and cables may not be used as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure.

2. The radio’s extension cord is stapled to the counter.
1910.305(g)(1)(iii)[D]: Flexible cords and cables may not be used where attached to building surfaces.

3. Spilled coffee on the uncarpeted floor.
1910.22(a)(2): The floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.

4. Most of exit sign and part of door are obscured by a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner.
1910.37(b)(3): Each exit route door must be free of decorations or signs that obscure the visibility of the exit route door.

5. Birthday cake on a plate on the counter, next to an open jar of paint thinner.
1910.141(G)(2): Eating and drinking areas. No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room nor in any area exposed to a toxic material.

 

6. An employee is standing in the bathroom eating a sandwich.
1910.141(G)(2): Eating and drinking areas. No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room nor in any area exposed to a toxic material.

7. Open door of bathroom shows it is a mess.
1910.22(a)(1): All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms shall be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.

8. Cockroaches on the counter near the birthday cake.

1910.141(a)(5): Vermin control. Every enclosed workplace shall be so constructed, equipped, and maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, as to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects, and other vermin. A continuing and effective extermination program shall be instituted where their presence is detected.

9. A ladder is propped in front of a partially open door.
1910.25(d)(2)(iv): Ladders shall not be placed in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked upon, locked, or guarded.

10. Fire extinguisher is on the floor instead of in its designated place.
1910.157(c)(4): The employer shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are maintained in a fully charged and operable condition and kept in their designated places at all times except during use.

11. Table with birthday presents is blocking the emergency exit.
1910.37(a)(3): Exit routes must be free and unobstructed.

12. The jar of paint thinner does not have a label on it and it has been left untended.
1910.1200(f)(5) states that: “Except as provided in paragraphs (f)(6) and (f)(7) of this section, the employer shall ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is labeled, tagged or marked with the following information:” – that information being the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) and any physical and health hazards. 1910.1200(f)(7) then states: “The employer is not required to label portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers, and which are intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer.” In this case, the open jar of unlabeled paint thinner has been left untended – it is not being used by an employee.

13. The far EXIT sign is broken and hanging down.
1910.37(b)(2): Each exit must be clearly visible and marked by a sign reading “Exit.”

14. The passageway by the counter has an electric cord hung across it.
1910.22(b)(1) states that “Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repairs, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.”

15. Wiring is exposed below the hanging plant. Water could drip down from the plant.
1910.305(j)(1)(i): Fixtures, lampholders, lamps, rosettes, and receptacles may have no live parts normally exposed to employee contact. However, rosettes and cleat-type lampholders and receptacles located at least 8 feet above the floor may have exposed parts.

In August 2007, this will change. 1910.305(j)(1)(i): Fixtures, lampholders, lamps, rosettes, and receptacles may have no live parts normally exposed to employee contact. However, rosettes and cleat-type lampholders and receptacles located at least 2.44 m (8.0 ft) above the floor may have exposed terminals.

1910.305(j)(2)(ii): A receptacle installed in a wet or damp location shall be suitable for the location. In August 2007, 1910.305(j)(2)(ii) will become 1910.305(j)(2)(iv).

 

16. The can of paint thinner should not have been left out on the counter.
1910.106(d)(5)(iii) concerns the storage of flammable and combustible liquids inside the building: Office occupancies. Storage shall be prohibited except that which is required for maintenance and operation of building and operation of equipment. Such storage shall be kept in closed metal containers stored in a storage cabinet or in safety cans or in an inside storage room not having a door that opens into that portion of the building used by the public.

 

17. Two plugs are plugged into the same extension cord on the front of the counter. The equipment that is plugged in has to be grounded or double-insulated.
1910.304(f)(5)(v): Equipment connected by cord and plug. Under any of the conditions described in paragraphs (f)(5)(v)[A] through (f)(5)(v)[C] of this section, exposed non-current-carrying metal parts of cord – and plug-connected equipment which may become energized shall be grounded.

1910.304(f)(5)(v): Tools likely to be used in wet and conductive locations need not be grounded if supplied through an isolating transformer with an ungrounded secondary of not over 50 volts. Listed or labeled portable tools and appliances protected by an approved system of double insulation, or its equivalent, need not be grounded. If such a system is employed, the equipment shall be distinctively marked to indicate that the tool or appliance utilizes an approved system of double insulation.

August 2007: 1910.304(g)(4)(vii): Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (g)(6)(vi) of this section, the following equipment need not be grounded: (B) Listed or labeled portable tools and appliances if protected by an approved system of double insulation, or its equivalent, and distinctively marked.


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