OSHA Provides List of Top Ten Workplace Safety Violations

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Fiscal year 2012 has come to a close as of the end of September, and OSHA is one of those organizations that has collected statistics for the year which started back in October.  And recently, the National Safety Council Congress and Expo was held in Orland, Florida.  OSHA took the time to enlighten the estimated 15,000 attendees as to the most common reported violations that occurred on the job.  This top ten list is essential reading for employers and employees looking to foster a culture of safety at their particular facility.

Leading the list by a wide margin was a violation of fall protection standards meant to prevent injury.  A whopping 7,250 violations were reported, ensuring that this category outdistances the next most common violation by more than 2,500 instances.  Typically, a fall protection violation came in the form of not placing some sort of component in place to limit the potential to fall off an edge of a structure or an open aperture.  Roof fall prevention was also a problem, as was an inability to cover open holes.

The next most typical violation, clocking in at under 5,000, was a lack of some sort of communication system that would inform employees of the potential dangers they might encounter on a given job.  That means that the employer might fail to provide a safety program in writing, they may have not trained or educated an employee properly, or they didn’t place the necessary labels or signage on various containers.

Scaffolding issues were up next, which sometimes goes hand in hand with fall protection.  In many instances, there weren’t the necessary guardrails in place on these items, but there were also issues where the scaffold itself wasn’t built properly or it was difficult for employees to get to them in a safe manner.

Problems that might lead to an employee incurring some type of respiratory injury were up next.  That might mean that there wasn’t a breathing protection program in writing, fit test procedures were not well-made, or procedures were not in place for employees who opted to use a voluntary respirator.

Rounding out the top five were violations related to ladders used during construction.  Oftentimes, a violation in this category would involve someone mistakenly stepping onto the top step, placing too much weight on the ladder, or simply not using the correct ladder for the job that is being carried out.

The rest of the top ten list was filled with such violations as machine guarding issues, powered industrial truck deficiencies, defects in electrical wiring usage, tagging and locking out, and general electrical safety issues.