EHS enforcement corner


As EHS regulatory activity continues to grow, enforcement activity continues around the world. This month, Enhesa would like to first showcase the US OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited violations of the 2011 fiscal year. This report is a useful guidance to EHS Managers around the globe for reviewing hazard areas and preventing accidents or injuries as we turn into the new year.

As seen on OSHA’s website, here are the most frequently cited standards following Federal OSHA worksite inspections (each category is also a clickable link here):

  1. 1926.451 – Scaffolding
  2. 1926.501 – Fall Protection
  3. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
  4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
  5. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
  6. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
  7. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. 1926.1053 – Ladders
  9. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
  10. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding

In other global news, here are a few recent enforcement activities Enhesa has monitored:

Recently in Thailand, significant amounts of environmental-related cases arose from neglect of government authorities in performing their duties under the environmental protection laws. Many have been brought to administrative courts nationwide. According to the Supreme Administrative Court President Hassawut Withiwiriyakul, 4,634 cases related to environmental disputes have been filed with administrative courts nationwide. Of these, 3,657 cases have been finalized.

During the month of November 2011 in Brazil, IBAMA reported that it fined a large oil and gas company its maximum oil law amount (approximately US$ 28 million) for an oil spill at Campo de Frade, in the Campos Basin, in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Additional fines could be imposed by both the federal government, and the State of Rio de Janeiro government for environmental infractions. All sectors should gather that the fines and potential additional fines demonstrate Brazil’s increasing ability and dedication to enforcing its laws.

During October 2011 in the United States, the Department of Labor OSHA fined a New Hampshire gun powder manufacturer with 54 workplace safety and health citations totaling US$1.2 million after a deadly explosion that killed two workers. The company had experienced a prior incident ending in a serious injury, and still refused to implement proper safety measures. Failure to train workers, to create safe locations while machinery was operating, and to separate small arms ammunition from flammable liquids were just a few of the other workplace citations received.

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