The Facility Safety Double Standard: Is The Outside Of Your Building As Safe As The Inside?

The article highlights the double standard in food facility safety management, where stringent measures are taken to ensure food safety but often neglected in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. The author emphasizes that maintenance and construction accidents can have severe consequences, including negative publicity and lawsuits, similar to product recalls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines are increasing, and safety measures are a small investment compared to potential fines or accidents. The ideal approach is to proactively engineer safety hazards out of the facility, involving the contractor's safety team in the design process. The article also discusses updated OSHA standards for roof safety, including requirements for fixed and portable ladders, safe distances from roof edges, skylight safety, guardrails around hatchways, parapet height, roof walkway pads, and permanent anchorage systems. Additionally, maintaining safe maintenance areas inside the building, such as interstitial spaces, is crucial for worker safety. Overall, rejecting the double standard and prioritizing safety can prevent accidents and protect lives while avoiding financial and reputational risks.

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