Due to government regulations that are being enforced more than ever, OSHA, working in conjunction with the justice department, has recently stepped up the number of inspections as well as criminal prosecutions for workplace injuries and fatalities. OSHA has even created a "Severe Violators Inspection Program" which allows harsher fines as well as jail time for senior level employees that knowingly and flagrantly violate the standards set by the US government to create a safe work environment.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal organization joint with the Department of Labor, enforces standards and provides workplace training giving Americans safe and healthy working environments.According to OSHA standards, "the employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of injury that would be sustained by the employee. (OSHA 1910.269 (I)(6)(iii)) In other words, the employer is required to mitigate potential injuries to their employees when putting them in harms way.
What is an Arc Flash Explosion
Needless to say, an arc flash explosion is extremely dangerous. Research has shown that there are 5 to 10 arc flash accidents involving a fatality or serious injury to an employee happening every day in the United States. And there are many more occurrences that are not reported. These accidents result in 1 to 2 deaths each day.
...it typically is not the blast itself that causes most of the injuries or deaths, it is the flammable nature of the clothing worn...
Arc Flash accidents are common, costly and a hot topic within OSHA and the entire safety industry. Recorded temperatures have reached 35,000 degrees. However, it typically is not the blast itself that causes most of the injuries or deaths, it is the flammable nature of the clothing worn by people suffering the accidents. Anyone who is working in an environment that is subject to arc flash accidents is mandated by law to provide flame resistant uniforms and personal protection equipment (PPE) to their employees. Flame resistant clothing will self extinguish and limit injury to second degree burns.
The average cost of a single survived accident can easily reach $8 to $10 million in direct and indirect costs, including medical expenses and legal costs. Furthermore, legal settlements almost always involve OSHA citations of deficiencies in the employer’s safety program as a causative factor leading to the accident.
Join us for our next blog as we will briefly discuss examples of OSHA fines. For any questions on this blog or other on our page, feel free to contact us directly. The corporate apparel experts here at Impact Plus Uniforms will be happy to provide additional information about the topic, our products, and how to order uniforms.