Top OSHA Safety Violations of 2017
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by Congress in 1970 to ensure that workers have safe and healthful working conditions. To promote increased worker safety and decreased work accidents, OSHA is tasked with setting and enforcing standards as well as providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.
OSHA recently released a preliminary ranking report of the top ten safety violations for fiscal year 2017 at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo. The top 10 violations are as follows:
- Fall Protection: Employers, especially those in the construction industry, are required to have fall protection to ensure that working surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity. This type of violation tops the list, with 6,072 violations.
- Hazard Communication: All chemicals produced or imported must be classified and certain information regarding classified hazards must be communicated to employers and employees. Not having the requisite hazard communication program and not having or providing access to data safety sheets comprised many of the 4,176 violations for this category.
- Scaffolding: Employers are required to ensure the safety of their workers by complying with scaffolding safety regulations. Violations in this category, which totaled 3,288, such as lack of guardrails and improper access to surfaces often lead to dangerous work accidents.
- Respiratory Protection: This regulation is intended to reduce occupational diseases caused by breathing contaminated air. There were 3,097 respiratory protection violations, including failure to establish a respiratory program and failure to provide medical evaluations.
- The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout): Machines and equipment that could have an unexpected energization, start up, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees and must be maintained appropriately. Inadequate worker training and non-completed inspections comprised many of the 2,877 lockout/tagout violations.
- Ladders: These regulations are applicable to the construction industry and dictate the appropriate usage of all types of ladders. There were 2,241 violations in this category; common violations included improper use of ladders and damaged ladders.
- Powered Industrial Trucks: These safety requirements relate to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines. This category accounted for 2,162 violations, including inadequate worker and refresher training, which are common causes of work accidents.
- Machine Guarding: Machine guarding must be provided, including barrier guards, two-handed tripping devices and electronic safety devices to protect employees from related hazards. There were 1,933 machine guarding violations.
- Training Requirements (Fall Hazards): Employers are required to provide training for employees who may be exposed to fall hazards. Failure to train workers in identifying fall hazards and proper use of fall protection equipment comprised the majority of the 1,523 violations.
- Wiring Methods: Grounding conductors must be properly bonded to ensure workers’ electrical safety. There were 1,405 violations cited, mainly in the food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing industries.
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