From file "042_pss" entitled "PSBRFS07.qxd" page 01
From file "042_pss" entitled "PSBRFS07.qxd" page 01

To build effective safety programs for your company, it is important to use all resources available. One tool dealers can utilize is to track problem areas nationally where OSHA has made frequent citations. It is important to know you can be cited for any OSHA standard that a Compliance Safety and Health Officer finds during an inspection, and knowing what other lumberyards are getting cited for gives you a starting point for focusing your safety efforts. From year to year you see minor changes to the positions of items on the list of frequently cited items, but the overall list stays fairly constant.

Using OSHA data for companies under the old Standard Industrial Code 5211 category, which in 2004 included the new NAICS 444110 (Homecenters) and 444190 (Other Building Material Dealers), I compiled the following list of the seven areas cited most often. The ranking of these citations is based solely upon the number of times an item has been cited and has no relation to the dollar amount of the citation.

  • Powered Industrial Trucks. All aspects of forklift operations were cited, but the emphasis seemed to be on the training. OSHA is still very serious about adequate forklift training and there is no sign this will change in the future. The Forklift and You forklift operator training program available from NLBMDA can assist all lumberyards in complying.
  • Hazard Communications (HazCom). Chemical hazard safety has been on the list almost constantly since the late 1980s. OSHA wants to make certain that all your Material Safety Data Sheets are readily available and that employees have received HazCom training.
  • Electrical Wiring Methods, Components. These citations don't just affect older yards; newer yards just have different types of violations.
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers. The lack of extinguishers, inspections, and employee training are being cited.
  • Woodworking Machinery. An important item for everyone and those of you governed by federal OSHA. Many items in woodworking are being cited, including guarding, controls, grounding, and training.
  • Electrical Systems Design. This is cited in many cases where the electrical system is just not adequate for what is required in a facility.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Employees simply need to wear their PPE when and where it is required. Your PPE Hazard Analysis (required by OSHA) explains the when and where of PPE usage. Training is also a major item in this category of citations.
  • Remember, federal OSHA as well as state plan states may have different emphasis programs going from year to year. If you are visited, the Compliance Officer may place special emphasis on certain areas. You also may occasionally find a state that puts an emphasis on a particular industry. For example, North Carolina OSHA has been aggressively inspecting lumberyards for quite some time. Recently, it appears that there are more inspections in North Carolina in a given period than 15 to 20 other states combined. That doesn't mean dealers in other states can be complacent, just that dealers in North Carolina need to be keenly aware of exactly what is occurring in their state.

    NLBMDA has many resources available to dealers to assist them in compliance and safety efforts. Dealers have the opportunity to discuss some of the citations during NLBMDA's monthly Training Without Travel safety teleconferences (go to for a complete schedule). The teleconferences concentrate on one particular area of safety each month and give participants enough information to help with compliance on that topic. NLBMDA is also working to produce the Delivery and Fleet Safety program, due out this fall. For more information on this new program, see “Safe Keeping” on page 62 and our ad on page 84. NLBMDA hopes you will take a few moments to take advantage of these resources and enhance your company's safety programs. —Ron Koons is co-owner of RoSaKo Safety, a safety consulting firm in Middletown, Ind.

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    The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association represents more than 8,000 lumber and building material companies with more than 500,000 employees, 20 state and regional associations, and the industry's leading manufacturers and service providers. NLBMDA's member companies are the suppliers of builders in every state across the U.S.

    The opinions expressed in NLBMDA Briefings are that of NLBMDA and may not represent that of PROSALES.