Plant-Wide Hazards » Work Areas


Workers may strike their head on nearby equipment or slip and fall due to uneven surfaces or poor lighting.

  • Work areas under mills must be as evenly surfaced as conditions permit. They must be free from unnecessary obstructions and lighting in accordance with American National Standard for Industrial Lighting A11.1-1965, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6(e)(3). 1910.265(c)(2)


A load may strike or crush workers due to failure in the supporting structure.

  • All buildings, docks, tramways, walkways, log dumps, and other structures must be designed, constructed and maintained so as to support the imposed load in accordance with a safety factor. 1910.265(c)(1)


Unguarded chute floor opening in sawmill #1

A load or falling objects may strike workers if flooring has openings or if it does not properly support the load.

  • Flooring in buildings and on ramps and walkways must be constructed and installed in accordance with established principles of mechanics and sound engineering practices. The flooring must support the load upon it and the stress cannot exceed the allowable stress for the material being used. 1910.265(c)(3)

  • Unguarded chute floor opening in sawmill #2

    Areas under floor openings must, where practical, be fenced off. When this is not practical, they need to be plainly marked and telltales must be installed to hang over these areas. 1910.265(c)(3)(ii)

Workers could trip and fall if flooring is not kept in good repair.

  • The flooring of buildings, docks, and passageways must be kept in good repair. When a hazardous condition develops that cannot be immediately repaired, the area must be guarded until adequate repairs are made. 1910.265(c)(3)(iii)

  • Floors, footwalks, and passageways in the work area around machines or other places where a person is required to stand or walk must have effective means to minimize slipping. 1910.265(c)(3)(iv)


Properly guarded walkway

Workers may fall from walkways, docks, or platforms if proper safety measures are not in place. Also, the materials on an elevated platform may roll or fall off the platform and strike workers.

  • Walkways, docks, and platforms must be wide enough to provide adequate passage and working areas. 1910.265(c)(4)(i)

  • Unguarded walkway

    Walkways and stairways with standard handrails must be provided in elevated and hazardous locations. Where such passageways are over walkways or work areas, standard toe boards must be provided. 1910.265(c)(4)(vi)

Walkway adjacent to cut off saw
  • Docks and runways used for the operation of lift trucks and other vehicles must have a substantial guard or shear timber, except where loading and unloading are being performed. 1910.265(c)(4)(iii)

  • Walkways must be evenly floored and kept in good repair. 1910.265(c)(4)(ii)

Unguarded, elevated work platform on drop sorter
  • All elevated walks, runways, or platforms, if four feet or more from the floor level, must have a standard railing except on loading or unloading sides of platforms. If height exceeds six feet, a standard toe board also must be provided to prevent material from rolling or falling off. 1910.265(c)(4)(iv)

  • Elevated platforms that are used on a daily basis must be equipped with stairways or fixed ladders in accordance with 1910.27. 1910.265(c)(4)(v)


Defective stairs

Workers may trip and fall if stairways lack proper handrails or if they are poorly lighted or constructed.

  • Stairways must be constructed in accordance with 1910.24. 1910.265(c)(5)(i)

  • Stairways must have a standard handrail on at least one side or on any open side. Stairs that are more than four feet wide must have a standard handrail at each side, and where more than eight feet wide, a third standard handrail must be erected in the center of the stairway. 1910.265(c)(5)(ii)

  • Tripping hazard at top of stairs

    All stairways must be adequately lighted as prescribed in 1910.265(c)(9) per 1910.265(c)(5)(iii).


Workers may be injured when exiting the facility if vulnerable to moving traffic or other hazards.

  • Doors must not open directly on or block a flight of stairs, and must swing in the direction of exit travel. 1910.265(c)(6)(i)

  • Exits must be easily located and identified from all work areas. 1910.265(c)(6)(ii)

  • All swinging doors must have windows; with one window for each section of double swinging doors. Such windows must be made of shatterproof or safety glass or otherwise protected against breakage. 1910.265(c)(6)(iii)

  • Where sliding doors are used as exits, an inner door must be cut inside each of the main doors and arranged to open outward. 1910.265(c)(6)(iv)

  • Where a doorway opens upon a railroad track or upon a tramway or dock over which vehicles travel, a barrier or other warning device must be present to prevent workers from stepping into moving traffic. 1910.265(c)(6)(v)


Workers may suffer from a variety of health hazards if proper ventilation is not in place.

  • Ventilation must be provided to supply healthful air to rooms, buildings, and work areas. 1910.265(c)(7)


Workers may fall into unguarded vats or tanks.

  • All open vats and tanks into which workers could fall must be guarded. 1910.265(c)(8)


Inadequate or ineffective lighting may cause eye strain. Poor lighting may also result in accidental contact or collision with nearby equipment.

  • Provided adequate illumination in rooms, buildings, and work areas during the time of use. 1910.265(c)(9)(i)

  • Factors upon which the adequacy and effectiveness of illumination will be judged, include the following: 1910.265(c)(9)(ii)

  • The quantity of light in foot-candle intensity must be sufficient for the work being done. 1910.265(c)(9)(ii)(a)

  • The quality of the light must be free from glare and have correct direction, diffusion, and distribution. 1910.265(c)(9)(ii)(b)

  • Shadows and extreme contrasts must be avoided or kept to a minimum. 1910.265(c)(9)(ii)(c)


Workers may be struck by equipment or loads if proper hazard markings are not in place.

  • Physical hazard marking must be as specified in 1910.144 of this part. 1910.265(c)(11)


Toxic fumes from a gas leak may make workers sick. A gas leak also may lead to a fire or explosion if ignited.

  • All gas piping and appliances must be installed in accordance with the American National Standard Requirements for the Installation of Gas Appliances and Gas Piping Z21.30-1964, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6. 1910.265(c)(15)


Workers may be cut by the saw blade if it is not properly guarded. Stellite tipped saw blades generate a fine dust containing cobalt when sharpened. Cobalt is a silvery, bluish-white, odorless, and magnetic metal. The fume and dust of cobalt metal is odorless and black. Without proper ventilation, cobalt overexposures are possible. Cobalt also is combustible and burns in air at room temperature. Dusts of cobalt metal or cobalt compounds may form explosive mixtures in air.

Unguarded abrasive wheel on saw blade sharpener machine. Note the lack of a local exhaust ventilation on wet system for dust generated during sharpening. Band saw sharpening machine #2. Note the unguarded abrasive wheel. Band saw sharpening machine #1. Note the unguarded abrasive wheel.
  • Ensure that a local exhaust ventilation system is used and maintained. 1910.265(c)(20)

  • All saw blades and abrasive wheels must be adequately guarded. 1910.151(f)(1)

  • Methods that are effective in controlling worker exposures to cobalt metal, dust, and fume, depending on the feasibility of implementation, are as follows:

    • Process enclosure,
    • Local exhaust ventilation,
    • General dilution ventilation, and
    • Personal protective equipment.
  • Remove an incapacitated worker from further exposure and implement appropriate emergency procedures (e.g., those listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. All workers should be familiar with emergency procedures, the location and proper use of emergency equipment, and methods of protecting themselves during rescue operations.

  • Extinguishant: DO NOT USE WATER. Dry sand, dry dolomite, dry graphite powder, or sodium chloride have been recommended for fighting fires involving cobalt. Fires involving cobalt metal, dust, and fume should be fought upwind from the maximum distance possible. Isolate the hazard area and deny access to unnecessary personnel. Firefighters should wear a full set of protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus when fighting fires involving cobalt metal, dust, and fume.

Local exhaust ventilation system