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OSHA Checklist for General Industry
A 1999 survey by OSHA revealed that more than 85% of employers conduct voluntary self-audits of safety and health conditions; a 60% increase from a similar survey performed in 1981. The survey found that self-audits are performed for a number of reasons, with three of them being the most common.
- Careful inspections can reduce injury and illness rates within the workplace by identifying present hazards.
- Staying on top of potential hazards is considered the right thing to do by many employers.
- Performing self-audits and acting upon any findings helps sustain compliance with OSHA regulations.
Routine self-audits are a cost-effective method of ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations. Performing self-audits can quickly identify safety hazards that need to be corrected prior to formal inspections. Costs associated with occupational safety and health hazards, beyond potential fines, can be reduced if hazards are corrected. Man-hours lost through workers compensation and sick leave can be reduced and productivity can remain high. Some insurance carriers in partnership with OSHA even offer reduced premiums to employers who perform self-audits.
The most thorough means for performing a self-audit is to use a regulatory OSHA checklist for each work area and OSHA-required record keeping. The size and diversity of the business dictates how many checklists are required and how much information should be in each OSHA checklist. While there is not a standard format for an OSHA checklist, several key features should be included:
- Name of auditor and date inspected
- Description and CFR cite for all pertinent regulations with a space to note deficiencies
- A feasible completion date for material deficiencies
- Initials and/or date when all corrections have been completed
The following list highlights major general industry regulations within work areas and record keeping but should not be considered all-inclusive.
All work areas should be identified. Within these locations, consider the applicability of each subpart of the OSHA standards from CFR Title 29. For:
- Aisles, stairways and ladders
see Walking/Working Surfaces; 1910.21 to 1910.30
- Number of and ease of access to exits within each area and emergency plans
see Means of Egress; 1910.35 to 1910.38
- Lifting platforms
see Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms; 1910.66 to 1910.68
- Ventilation, noise and radiation
see Occupational Health and Environmental Control; 1910.94 to 1910.98
- Storing and handling of hazardous materials
see Hazardous Materials; 1910.101 to 1910.126
- Eye protection, protective clothing, respiratory protection, head protection, foot protection, electrical protective equipment and hand protection
see Personal Protective Equipment; 1910.132 to 1910.139
- Spill cleanup, safe disposal requirements, permit-required confined spaces and lockout/tagout
see General Environmental Controls; 1910.141 to 1910.147 Appendix A
- First aid availability and training
see Medical and First Aid; 1910.151 to 1910.152
- Fire extinguishers, fixed fire-suppression equipment and other systems
see Fire Protection; 1910.155 to 1910.165
- Air receiver installation and safety
see Compressed Gas and Compressed Air Equipment; 1910.166 to 1910.169
- Use and care of forklifts, cranes, derricks, helicopters and slings
see Materials Handling and Storage; 1910.176 to 1910.184
- Guard requirements for moving machinery
see Machinery and Machine Guarding; 1910.211 to 1910.219
- Guarding and maintenance of hand-powered equipment
see Hand and Portable Powered Tools and Other Hand-Held Equipment; 1910.241 to 1910.244
- Oxygen-fuel, arc and resistance welding requirements
see Welding, Cutting, and Brazing; 1910.251 to 1910.255
- Special Industries
see 1910.261 to 1910.272 Appendix C
- Design safety standards, safe work practices and maintenance requirements
see Electrical; 1910.301 to 1910.399
- Toxic and Hazardous Substances
see 1910.1000 to 1910.1450 Appendix B
In addition to a work area OSHA checklist, written records are often required by OSHA. The following standards cite a required written plan or program in place where applicable:
|Emergency Action Plan||1910.38|
|Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals||1910.119|
|HAZWOPER Record Keeping||1910.120|
|Permit-Required Confined Space Program||1910.146|
|Employee Alarm System||1910.165|
|Forklift Inspection Log and Training Distribution||1910.178|
|Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution||1910.269|
|Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices||1910.333|
|Bloodborne Pathogens: Exposure Control Plan||1910.1030|
|Hazard Communication Program||1910.1200|
|Lab Standard: Chemical Hygiene Plan||1910.1450|
|Subpart Z–Specific Chemical Substances||1910.1000 to 1910.1450 Appendix B|
|Posting and Citations||Job Safety and Health Poster Form 3165|
|Accidents, Injuries and Deaths||300 Log|
Creating and Maintaining OSHA Checklists for General Industry
The following is an example of what a portion of a workplace OSHA checklist could look like for a flammable storage area. Appropriate components depend on individual situations.
INSPECTION REPORT FOR FLAMMABLE STORAGE AREA
Date of Inspection:
(Circle all numbers with deficiencies)
- Are approved containers and portable tanks used for the handling and storage of flammable and combustible liquids? 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2)
- Are all connections on drums and combustible liquid piping vapor and liquid tight? 29 CFR 1910.106(c)(3)
- Are all flammable liquids kept in closed containers when not in use? 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(2)(iv)(a)
- Are bulk drums of flammable liquids grounded and bonded to containers during dispensing? 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(6)(ii)
- Are safety cans used for dispensing flammable or combustible liquids? 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(5)(iii)
- Are storage tanks adequately vented to prevent the development of excessive vacuum or pressure as a result of filling, emptying or atmosphere temperature changes? 29 CFR 1910.106(b)(4)(ii)
- Are portable tanks equipped with emergency venting to relieve internal pressure from exposure to fire? 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2)(ii)
- Are storage cabinets that store flammable liquids labeled "Flammable, Keep Fire Away"? 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(3)(ii)
- Are flammable liquids stored in approved safety cans? 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2); 29 CFR 1910.144(a)(1)
- Are no smoking rules enforced in areas for storage and use of hazardous materials? 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(9)
- Are appropriate fire extinguishers mounted, located and identified so that they are readily accessible to employees? 29 CFR 1910.157(c)(1)
- Are all fire extinguishers inspected and recharged regularly, and marked on inspection tags? 29 CFR 1910.157(e)
- Is there an adequate number of portable fire extinguishers and of the proper type? 29 CFR 1910.157(d)
- For a fixed extinguishing system, is a sign posted warning of the hazards presented by the extinguishing medium? 29 CFR 1910.160(b)(5)
- Are exits properly marked? 29 CFR 1910.37(q)
- Do exit signs have an illumination of at least 5 foot-candles? 29 CFR 1910.37(q)(6)
- Are exits maintained free of obstructions? 29 CFR 1910.36(d)(1)
Correction completion date:
Corrections have been completed (initials and date):
Creating and maintaining and OSHA checklist for general industry operations is by no means the final step. When beginning a safety audit program, several ideas should be kept in mind. A team approach to safety is most effective; rotating people on and off the team will keep ideas fresh and enhance perspective. Inspect thoroughly and frequently; any area, regardless of size, can pose hazards that can crop up seemingly overnight. Once hazards are identified, have a system in place for correction.
Commonly Asked Questions
|Q.||Would using checklists reduce fines levied from a formal OSHA inspection?|
|A.||Recently, OSHA sought public comments on a policy whereby an employers self-audit may be considered evidence of good faith.|
Compliance Audits: Essential Checklists for OSHA, EPA & Other Key Agencies, 1996, J. J. Keller and Associates, Inc. Neenah, WI
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The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.