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Can You Afford To Not Have A Pit Cover? The Cost of Pit Safety

August 06, 2019

Facility Safety

No matter what sort of business you are running, the safety of your employees needs to come first. In facilities with maintenance pits, proper precautions must be taken to avoid costly lawsuits and OSHA violations.

 The first thing you must understand about the potential costs of workplace safety is the way that OSHA operates. OSHA’s ultimate goal is to preemptively prevent workplace hazards from causing harm. An OSHA audit that recognizes a lapse in safety can still cost your business tens of thousands of dollars in fines, even without any incidents, injuries, or complaints on the record.

 When it comes to pit safety, OSHA article 1910.22 states, “Covers and/or guardrails shall be provided to protect personnel from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, etc.” While a simple guardrail would fulfill the basic OSHA requirements, is it worth the risk of a serious employee injury to save money on facility costs? A violation could cost your business tens of thousands, but a serious injury or fatal incident could cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in lawsuits and legal fees.

 Now you may be thinking, “That won’t happen to my employees”, but the reality is that fatal falls take place in the workplace at an unfortunately high rate. Per the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017, falls accounted for 17 percent of worker deaths and falls through existing surface openings (like a service pit) accounted for nearly 10% of those fall fatalities. Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented with an investment into proper workplace safety procedures. 

 To curb expensive legal trouble, potential OSHA violations, and most importantly, the danger to your employees, walk-on pit covers are a great option for your facility. These covers allow your employees to freely walk throughout the floor without any concerns for falling. Pit covers completely cover the service pit, rather than guardrails which only serve as a minor means of protection to an otherwise open pit area. 

 Hennig offers a wide variety of walk-on pit cover options at a reasonable cost, customized for your specific needs. Rather than having a pricey visit from an OSHA representative, give your Henning rep a call to talk about how their pit covers can help you with an economical solution that will keep your employees on their feet while still maintaining full accessibility for maintenance needs.

 Even if a minor accident did occur and someone fell on the pit cover or dropped a heavy part on top of it, the costs of maintenance and repair will be minimal due to Hennig’s unique modular design. If a section of the pit cover gets damaged, there is no need to replace the entire unit. You would simply need to replace a small section of the cover, minimizing downtime and maintaining the same great level of safety that your employees require.

With all of those factors in mind, purchasing a pit cover is a great long term investment that protects your most important assets at just a fraction of the cost of any scary accidents or OSHA violations.

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