Illinois OSHA lists top 5 safety violations found at fire departments

SPRINGFIELD – Worker safety is the primary mission of the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Illinois Department of Labor. Documenting dangers is one way to avoid them in the future.

With that in mind, Thursday, Illinois OSHA released the Top 5 safety violations Illinois fire departments received in fiscal year 2019.

“We hope that by pointing out the most common safety violations our inspectors have documented at fire departments around the state, that we can avoid or lessen these dangers going forward,” said Ben Noven, director of Illinois OSHA.

Illinois OSHA’s jurisdiction is over public employees while federal OSHA covers private sector employees.

Top 5 Fire Department Safety Violations

1. Respiratory Protection – This involves providing the proper respirators for workers when necessary to protect them from harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors in the workplace air.

2. Fire Brigade – This involves the basic organizational structure; the type, amount, and frequency of training to be provided to fire brigade members; the expected number of members in the fire brigade; and the functions that the fire brigade is to perform at the workplace.

3. Hazard communications – This involves providing label warnings of hazardous chemicals, data sheets for such hazardous materials and training of employees on these hazards.

4. Bloodborne pathogens – This involves providing protection from blood, other body fluids and other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of a worker’s duties.

5. Walking working surfaces – This involves keeping walking surfaces clean, orderly, in good repair, dry whenever possible and free from hazards such as sharp objects or loose boards.

Illinois OSHA protects the health and safety of public employees through the inspection, investigation and evaluation of public facilities and working conditions to ensure compliance with occupational safety and health standards and conducts educational and advisory activities to assure safe and healthy working conditions.

Illinois OSHA is partially funded by two federal grants. The State Plan is a shared 50 percent state/50 percent federal funding. The On-Site Consultation Cooperative Agreement is funded 90 percent by a federal grant with 10 percent state funding.