Is There an Epidemic of Ignoring OSHA Regulations? News & Opinion

Why Worry About OSHA Regulations?


Take a look at the photo above. Four guys, a power cutter, and little PPE. At least they were standing upwind. Oh, and don’t forget the bandanas. Those are really effective at filtering out silica dust. Anyway, as I passed this scene on a lunchtime bike ride recently, it got me contemplating, is there an epidemic of ignoring OSHA regulations?

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OSHA Regulations Soap Box

To an extent, I get it. If you know every single OSHA regulation that relates to your business, you either have a photographic memory or not much of a life. But some of these violations are just so blatant that it makes you wonder if they care about getting caught at all.

Most of the fine stories that pop up in OSHA’s newsletter feature larger companies or violations that result in serious injury or death. With the number of willful violations we come across, it almost seems like they’re just relying on a handful of gotchas to keep the rest of the industry in line.

I realize that isn’t actually the case. There are OSHA inspectors that pop up at unexpected and inconvenient times. Like most agencies, I imagine there just isn’t enough staff to effectively be proactive at enforcing regulations.

Not that we want it to be that way. Imagine how slow progress would be if there was an on-site OSHA rep on every job, every day.

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What Do You Think?

So is following OSHA regulations kind of like the restaurant business – just cover the main 80% and put on a show when the health inspector shows up?

I’d like to think not. But here’s where I want to know what you think. How do you view OSHA regulations on your job site? Are there simply too many regulations in place to follow them all and still be productive?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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Derek
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Derek

I’m a journeyman electrician, and I can tell you that OSHA regulations are rarely followed. I’m also one of those people who ignore the vast majority of them. I have a job to do, and government regulations aren’t getting in my way. When i’m doing saw cuts in concrete I wear hearing protection, but nothing over my mouth/nose, I try and be upwind. When I’m on a scissor lift or bucket truck I don’t where a harness because it gets in the way. When I’m hammer drilling holes I try my best to not breathe it in, I don’t have… Read more »

Jaret
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Jaret

I see guys cutting like that every day here in south Florida. Most of them are immigrants, and none of them even know that what they’re doing is illegal, or killing them