Top Ten OSHA Safety Violations
November 7, 2017
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced its top ten list of safety violations at the annual National Safety Council Congress & Expo. More than 15,000 safety, health, and environmental officials from around the world attended the conference that focused on improving workplace safety.
OSHA’s Top Ten List
- Fall Protection: (6,072 violations) Falls account for the largest overall number of serious injuries and fatalities in workplace accidents. Unprotected edges and open sided areas in residential construction and unprotected low-slope roofs were the most commonly reported fall violation in 2017.
- Hazard Communication: (4,176 violations) Failure to provide workers with proper labeling and safety information for chemicals found in the workplace puts them at risk for serious and often fatal injuries.
- Scaffolding: (3,288 violations) Improper access to surface areas on scaffolds and a lack of safety guardrails were the most frequent safety violations in this area.
- Respiratory Protection: (3,097 violations) The most frequently reported safety violations in this area result from employers that fail to provide respiratory protection training programs and medical evaluations for their employees. Low oxygen environments and exposure to hazardous dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays can lead to cancer and other lung diseases.
- Lockout/Tagout: (2,877 violations) Failure to provide adequate training and conducting regular inspections of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal energy sources topped the list of safety violations in this area.
- Ladders in Construction: (2,241 violations) Improper use of ladders, broken or damaged ladders, and workers using the top step of a ladder resulted in a high number of safety violations. Falls from ladders typically result in broken bones and head, neck, and spinal injuries.
- Powered Industrial Trucks: (2,162 violations) Violations in this area mainly focused on the lack of training and refresher safety training for forklift operators. Falling loads, tip-overs, and driving off loading docks or falling off loading docks and being wedged between the dock and unsecured trailer result in a large number of injuries and deaths.
- Machine Guarding: (1,933 violations) Exposure to unguarded machine parts topped the list of violations in this area. Workers exposed to machine parts can suffer amputation, burns, and even blindness.
- Fall Protection Training Requirements: (1,523 violations) Employers that fail to properly train employees in identifying fall risks and in the proper use of fall protection equipment put workers at risk of serious injury and death.
- Electrical Wiring Methods: (1,405 violations) Electricity presents a danger to workers in all industries, including construction, food and beverage workers, retail, and manufacturing workers. Failure to properly train employees can lead to electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.
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