How To Avoid OSHA's Top 10 Most Cited Standards

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a preliminary list of its most frequent safety violations last year. Take a look!

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2016

According to OSHA, during the fiscal year of 2016 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016), 1,080 workers were killed on the job. Though the number of work fatalities has reduced 346 percent from 2014 (4,821 workers were killed on the job in 2014), that translates to nearly 21 deaths a week or nearly three (3) every day. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs who presented OSHA’s top 10 list of most frequently cited violations for 2016 at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Anaheim, CA, said “Take the list and look at your own workplace off of that list. ‘These are the things OSHA is finding. Would they find these at my workplace?’ It’s a good place to start.”

1. Fall Protection, Construction 29 CFR 1926.501: this standard specifies where fall protection is required as well as the proper installation of safety systems to prevent falls in Construction.

2. Hazard Communication, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.1200: OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires development and distribution of information for employees regarding the hazards of chemicals used in the workplace, in the form of labels and safety data sheets (SDS), as well as adequate training for employees to thoroughly understand hazard chemical exposure risks.

3. Scaffolds, Construction 29 CFR 1926.451: this standard outlines the requirement for implementing and accessing scaffolds in Construction.

4. Respiratory Protection, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.134: this standard addresses preventing occupational diseases caused by atmospheric contamination such as harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, gases, smokes and sprays.

5. Lockout/Tagout, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.147: companies were mostly given citations for improperly training employees on lockout/tagout procedures, not having a lockout/tagout procedure in place or lacking periodic inspections of existing procedure.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.178: this standard addresses safety requirements relating to operation of powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks.

7. Ladders, Construction 29 CFR 1926.1053: hazards in this category are mostly associated with improper use of portable ladders in Construction, likely due to inadequate training.

8. Machine Guarding, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.212: Moving machine parts could cause severe injuries such as crushed fingers, hands, amputations, burns, or blindness, hence necessary safeguards and safety training are required to eliminate these various hazards.

9. Electrical Wiring, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.305: citations are commonly issued for unsafe substitutes for permanent wiring and incorrect use of extension cords

10. Electrical, General Requirements, General Industry 29 CFR 1910.303: improperly installed or incorrect use of electric equipment, and obstructed working space around electric equipment commonly lead to OSHA citations in this category.

“In one year, over 10,000 severe workplace injuries will be reported to OSHA, and almost half of those will be fatalities” – said Cathy Evans, ClickSafety Corporate Account Manager, in the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) podcast – “They can all be prevented if people had the information and knowledge to keep themselves safe. When these tragedies are investigated, we often find out that the workers weren’t trained. They didn’t have the information they need.”

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