OSHA Safety Regulations for Maintenance Workers

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The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to ensure that work environments are safe for workers. The administration also ensures that organizations employ strategies against injuries and occupational fatalities. According to OSHA regulations, employers must make the workplace free from recognized hazards that may cause physical harm or death of employees.

Job Description

  • A maintenance worker's job involves performing routine repair and maintenance of facilities. His responsibilities include repair and maintenance of facilities, grounds, buildings and equipment. A maintenance person's work may include carpentry, plumbing, electrical and painting. These workers maintain every area of a building and the surrounding grounds. As such, a maintenance worker may fix a leaky sink, paint walls, hang doors, repair air conditioners, and fix or install emergency equipment. They even respond to alarm calls and alarm settings.

Asbestos

  • All automobile brake and clutch repair facilities must comply with OSHA asbestos standard. The preferred methods to reduce asbestos are use of a negative pressure enclosure/HEPA vacuum system, and the low-pressure/wet cleaning method. Respiratory control measures are not required if the employer uses these methods. If the employer chooses to use an equivalent method, this method must be written so that it can be duplicated, and the employer must show that the asbestos exposure levels are lower than the OSHA recommended methods.

Fall Protection

  • All floor openings must be guarded using a standard railing constructed in line with OSHA regulation, and this must be available on both stairway sides excluding the entrance. For any rarely used stairways where traffic across the opening prevents use of fixed railing, the guard must consist of a floor cover of standard strength and construction with removable railings on any exposed sides. All ladder-way floor openings must be guarded using standard railing with toe board on all sides. Organizations must employ standard skylight screens or place fixed railings on all sides of skylight floor openings.

Toe Board

  • OSHA regulations require that ladder-way openings have a standard railing guard, and standard toe board on all sides apart from the opening. A removable toe board or an equivalent of the same must be provided in areas where there is exposure below to falling materials. A guard must be placed in position, door availability notwithstanding, when the opening is not being used for handling materials. If a window opening is placed below a landing, a standard toe board also must be available

Protective Equipment

  • OSHA also mandates that employers provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) and machine guards to prevent injuries. PPE for maintenance workers includes respirators, protective clothing and electrical hazard protection. Employees who use machines must use machine guards, which must protect against the tool's point of operation. Machine guards must be designed to prevent the user from ever having contact with danger zones during normal operations. Motion hazard guards should be designed to prevent entry of fingers and limbs over or under the guard into hazard zones.

References

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