In fact, this week the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has published its annual list of the Top Ten most frequently cited violations it has found following inspections of worksites its officials undertake on a regular (and unannounced) basis.
The OSHA listing shines a light on the types of safety issues that are most pronounced in the workplace. Here’s OSHA’s latest list, based on the 12-month period from October 2014 through September 2015. It’s headlined by fall protection, which is the most frequent OSHA standards violation:
- Fall protection violations (construction standard)
- Hazard communication (general industry standard)
- Scaffolding (construction)
- Respiratory protection (industry)
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) (industry)
- Powered industrial trucks (industry)
- Ladders (construction)
- Electrical (wiring methods, components and equipment)
- Machine guarding
- Electrical (general requirements)
OSHA publishes the list once per year to alert U.S. employers about the most common violations being cited so that they’ll take precautions to fix similar hazards in their own companies before OSHA officials show up to carry out an inspection.
Reviewing the list, some of the categories fall into the “everyone knows” category. Who doesn’t think that fall protection, scaffolding and ladders are major contributors to injuries in the workplace?
But then there are other OSHA violations like electrical systems and industrial trucks; it’s a little surprising to me to find them among the most frequently cited violations.
Which workplace threats do you think represent the biggest safety hazards to workers? Share your thoughts with other readers here.