The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released its top 10 most frequently cited violations for 2017.
To best understand this list, the top 9 violations can be split into 3 injury categories – 1) Falling, 2) Chemicals / Pollutants, and 3) Operating Vehicles / Machines.
The info below defines and provides additional info to help you avoid a citation.
Injury related to Falling
|Fall Protection (#1 most common violation): 6,072 Citations
For years, falls from ladders and roofs have accounted for (and still cause) the majority of injuries at work. Identifying fall hazards and maintaining safety standards are critical for construction businesses. Essential safety measures include guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall protection systems.
|Scaffolding (#3 most common violation): 3,288 Citations
The vast majority of scaffold accidents can be attributed to 1) the planking or support of the scaffold giving way, or to 2) employees slipping or being struck by falling objects. These dangers can be controlled if employers strictly adhere to OSHA standards.
|Ladders (#6 most common violation): 2,241 Citations
These types of violations typically occur when ladders are used for purposes other than those designated by the manufacturer. IE – when the top step of a is used as a step, when ladders are used on unstable surfaces, or when defective ladders are not withdrawn from service. Most employee injuries can be attributed to poor training or disregard for safety procedures.
|Fall Protection Training Requirements (#9 most common violation): 1,523 Citations
According to OSHA, employees should be trained to use fall protection methods, such as guardrails, safety nets and personal fall arrest systems, and employers should have written certification records verifying that employees have been trained.
Injury related to chemicals / pollutants
|Hazard Communication (#2 most common violation): 4,176 Citations
OSHA standard 1910.1200 governs hazard communication to workers about chemicals that are produced or imported into the workplace. Employers who 1) fail to develop and maintain a proper written training program for employees, and 2) fail to provide a Safety Data Sheet for hazardous chemicals, are ripe for a citation.
|Respiratory Protection (#4 most common violation): 3,097 Citations
Standard 1910.134 provides employers with guidance in establishing and maintaining a respiratory inspection program. Respirators protect workers from oxygen-deficient environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. Hazards such as these can cause cancer, lung impairment, and other diseases.
Injury related to Vehicle / Machine operations
|Lockout/Tagout (#5 most common violation): 2,877 Citations
Lockout/tagout (LOTO) relates to procedures that protect employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous material during maintenance activities. Workers who service mechanical and electrical equipment face a high risk of injury if LOTO is not properly executed.
|Powered Industrial Trucks (#7 most common violation): 2,162 Citations
Employees are injured when lift trucks are driven off of loading docks, or when a worker falls between docks and unsecured trailers. Other injuries involve employees being struck by lift trucks or falling from elevated pallets and tines. Most incidents also include damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls and machinery.
|Machine Guarding (#8 most common violation): 1,933 Citations
When a machine’s components are exposed, moving parts have the potential to cause serious workplace injuries, such as amputations, burns, blindness, and crushed fingers or hands. The risk of employee injury is substantially reduced by maintaining machine guarding procedures.