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Avoiding OSHA Violations in the Dry Cleaning Industry: Part 2

In our previous post, we discussed how dry cleaners should do everything in their power to reduce employee injury exposures. This is not only for the health and safety of their staff, but also to reduce their chances of being faced with an OSHA fine due to a violation. While some accidents and injuries are unpredictable, there are still steps dry cleaners can take to mitigate loss. Financially protecting yourselves with the right Fabricare Industry Insurance Policy is an appropriate first step, but understanding the top reasons for OSHA fines is important too.

In part 1 of this post, we named Lockout/tagout violations, failure to maintain adequate Hazard Communication (HazCom), and exposure to blood borne pathogens as some of the top reasons for OSHA fines. In addition to ensuring your exposures in these areas are limited, you should also make sure all your business paperwork is up to date. This could include a log of work-related injuries and illnesses, the latest updates on when equipment was checked for functionality issues, and any training processes required for your dry cleaning staff.

Another factor that commonly contributes to OSHA fines or violations is equipment malfunction due to rigged safety mechanisms or by-passed safety mechanisms on pressing machines. “Machine Guarding” is the term that refers to this type of safety issue; moving equipment guards should never be bypassed and damaged or missing guards should always be reported. Until a damaged guard is fixed, dry cleaners should make sure that all workers are taking injury preventative actions.

Are you unsure of your OSHA violation exposures? Research goes a long way; in addition to the limitless information you can find through a search inquiry online, OSHA’s website has a variety of materials, supplies, handbooks, and articles that will help you to avoid violations during an inspection.

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc. we understand the unique risks faced by dry cleaners. Our Fabricare Advantage insurance program has offered Dry Cleaner Insurance, Commercial Launderer Insurance, Linen Supply Insurance and Uniform Rental Insurance since 1946. For more information about our various programs and coverages, please contact us today at (855) 764-7406.