Digital Inspections

Company Reported to OSHA Avoids Audit and Fines with Redlist

Situation

A regional crane company often works in areas requiring permits to operate. The permit regulations require each permit to be signed, submitted, and documented before work can be performed. This process is more than just paperwork. It is an important part of jobsite safety, especially in the case of operating near power lines. Operating without a permit in these instances can result in an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violation and a hefty fine. A call from OSHA is rarely a good thing, but on one particular job, the crane company was reported to OSHA by a concerned citizen. The company was performing a lift close to overhead power lines. After receiving the citizen’s report, OSHA called the company’s HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) manager to look into the situation and check for permits.

Action Items

The company knew the safety and permit requirements of that job. They planned ahead by contacting the power company to be onsite to de-energize the lines. When the power company arrived, the crane operator had them review and sign his close proximity work permit. The company uses Redlist for many processes from pre-op inspections and maintenance to service tickets and work orders. So, the operator was able to upload a photo of the permit immediately after signing via the Redlist mobile app. It was attached to the service ticket for that job and synced in the cloud, making it instantly accessible by anyone who needed it. When OSHA called the office about the report, the HSE manager had convenient access to all the information and permits submitted on the job. The manager verified with OSHA over the phone that all permits had been submitted and the lines were de-energized before work began. OSHA was satisfied that all their requirements were met, and they ended the call without requiring a jobsite audit.

Impact

The process was efficient and stress-free for all employees involved, from the operator collecting the permit to the HSE manager taking the OSHA call. But, the biggest impact is completely avoiding OSHA fines and all of the consequences that accompany them. OSHA fines for an incident like this can be in the tens of thousands of dollars range. Additionally, having all of the required documentation completed and easy to access while on the phone avoided OSHA doing a jobsite audit. An audit would would have focused on not just the permits and de-energized lines, it would have also involved auditing the entire jobsite and all of the equipment. If OSHA finds any issues during an audit, the fines start to add up. The worst part of an OSHA violation is that they go on a company’s permanent safety record. This can affect a company’s ability to win jobs and may even get them blacklisted from their best customers. With Redlist’s support, the jobsite was safe, fines were avoided, and the company can continue to operate with its excellent safety record.

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