Hard Hats — OK, how many shops have their employees wear hard hats when lifting slabs off an A-frame? I would guess almost none. If you lift a slab high off the ground with a clamp and a forklift, hard hats are required safety equipment.
No HazCom Program — most shops are unaware that OSHA requires a HazCom Program.
OSHA documents state, "OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is based on a simple concept — that employees have both a need and a right to know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to when working. They also need to know what protective measures are available to prevent adverse effects from occurring. OSHA designed the HCS to provide employees with the information they need to know. Knowledge acquired under the HCS will help employers provide safer workplaces for their employees. When employees have information about the chemicals being used, they can take steps to reduce exposures, substitute less hazardous materials and establish proper work practices. These efforts will help prevent the occurrence of work-related illnesses and injuries caused by chemicals.
"The HCS addresses the issues of evaluating and communicating chemical hazard information to workers. Evaluation of chemical hazards involves a number of technical concepts, and is a process that requires the professional judgment of experienced experts.
"Hazard determination is the responsibility of the manufacturers and importers of the chemicals, who then must provide the hazard information to employers that purchase their products. Employers that do not produce or import chemicals need only focus on those parts of the rule that deal with establishing a workplace program and communicating information to their workers."
HazCom programs can be purchased from many sources. The National Training Center for Stone & Masonry Trades has a custom HazCom program for this industry.
No Safety Retainers on Air Tools — OSHA requires that all air tools have safety clips or retainers to prevent them from becoming accidentally disconnected. I have rarely seen a shop where safety retainers are installed on air connections.
Improper Grounding of Electrical Tools — OSHA requires that all electric tools be approved, double-insulated or properly grounded. I have seen many electric tools sold in our industry that do not meet this requirement.
Hearing Protection — If your shop exceeds the permissible noise exposure, then OSHA requires a hearing conservation program, which includes having employees regularly tested, providing the proper hearing protection and training employees on the dangers of high noise levels.