December 11, 2015
OSHA’s top cited violations
What are some of the most common OSHA citations?The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released its latest data on the most frequently cited violations. Although the most cited violations from the 2015 fiscal year may seem similar to last year’s, changes are being enacted to eliminate risks.
During 2014, according to Safety and Health Magazine, OSHA began to collect additional data from employers on amputations and hospitalizations suffered by their employees. The administration is taking a more personal approach toward the health and safety of employees across industries, “engaging with every employer” to ensure real change is made.
This past September, OSHA announced it will focus more heavily on a weighted system for inspections and their outcomes, instead of the typical tallying system used before. This new system will place a greater value on complex inspections and allows for planning by OSHA to be implemented more easily.
“We continue to encourage employers to abate hazards before an OSHA inspection and, more importantly, before a worker gets hurt,” said Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Activities.
The top three most cited violations include:
Fall protection: This provision is designed to protect employees from walking or working on horizontal and vertical surfaces that are six feet or more above the ground. The top sections cited in this include residential construction, unprotected sides and edges, roofing work on low-slope roofs and steep roofs. Employers must also keep in mind the danger of employees falling through any type of hole while working.
Hazard communication: This standard addresses chemical hazards—both chemicals produced in the workplace and those that may be used there for cleaning or other uses. It’s important employees completely understand the risk a chemical may pose to their health. The top three sections cited within hazards include developing, implementing and maintaining a written program, providing effective training on the risks associated with chemicals and maintaining proper records of said chemicals.
Scaffolding: Employers must protect construction workers from falls and falling objects, especially when using scaffolding. The scaffolding must be placed properly, securely and with safety in mind. There are many sections that are often cited within scaffolding including general employee fall protection, means of access to the actual scaffolding and using a fall protection system.
With the top citations in mind, employers can ensure their workers are safe from the most common pitfalls that can occur throughout a range of industries. With effective training programs and overall awareness, employee accidents and fatalities can be prevented.