When the most recent list of the Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations was released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) it didn’t have any drastic changes from the previous year’s list, an occurrence that shocked no one. Year after year, the same categories continue to pop up on the list which is a cause for concern as many of the violations can be easily prevented. However, the good news is that the total number of incidents was down 4.5% from 2014 and 11% from 2013. The list is as follows:
1) Fall Protection- The top violation for the fifth year running boasts a grand total of 7,402 violations.
2) Hazard Communication- With a total of 5,681 citations, this violation continues to be the second most cited violation for the fourth year in a row despite having a decline of almost 20% because of new HazCom chemical labeling rules.
3) Scaffolding- Although there was a 6% decrease from 2014, with a total of 4,681 citations, scaffolding still remains the third most cited violation. For the most part, these violations fall under construction scaffolding and in providing enough guard railing or simply making sure there are no holes on the actual scaffold platforms which can present a serious risk for workers.
4) Respiratory Protection- There were 3,626 total respiratory violations in 2015. With nearly 5 million workers required to wear respirators in about 1.3 million workplaces, it is always important to make sure proper safety rules are being followed.
5) Lockout/Tagout- Nearly 3 million workers are at risk on a daily basis with 3,308 citations having occurred in 2015.
6) Powered Industrial Trucks- With 3,004 citations, this category includes not just trucks but other vehicles such as forklifts and even powered pallet jacks. Improper operator training and unsafe truck conditions account for many of the citations.
7) Ladders- There were 2,732 citations involving what most people would consider a simple piece of equipment, a ladder, yet it was still the seventh most cited violation.
8) Electrical, Wiring Methods- 2,624 citations occurred involving electrical wiring methods with common infractions being using temporary wiring in place of permanent wiring and running flexible cords or cables through wall/ceiling holes even when allowed because it is in direct violation of OSHA standards.
9) Machine Guarding- Falling ninth on the list with 2,540 citations, safeguarding moving machine parts is not to be taken lightly with the possibility of crushed body parts, blindness, amputations, and burns being a reality.
10) Electrical, General Requirements- The last most common violation includes 2,181 citations and is quite deadly with electrical hazards being the second-leading cause of death in the construction industry.