Top 10 OSHA Violations to Avoid in 2018

Jan 4, 2018 by

Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announces the most frequently cited workplace violations for the year.

Though every year the violations are similar in nature, it is important to make this information available so that industries vulnerable to workplace hazards can become more aware for the upcoming year, and aim to make their workplaces safer.

In fact, this extensive report serves as a reminder of not only the requirement, but the importance of OSHA training in the workplace, regardless of the industry.

So, look at what happened this last year and use this vital information to make 2018 the safest your company has ever seen.

1. Fall Protection in Construction

Preventing falls in the workplace is crucial for keeping workers safe, especially in the construction industry.  That said, there were plenty of fall protection violations plaguing construction sites across the nation in 2017.

For instance, unprotected edges, open sides in residential construction, and a failure to provide fall protection on low-slope roofs were some of the most common.

 2. Hazard Communication

Coming in as the second most common OSHA violation of 2017, know that companies without a hazard communication program in place are violating safety rules.

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires information about the chemical hazards employees are exposed to and protective measures to ensure the health and safety of employees be disseminated to all workers.

3. Scaffolding

Companies working in scaffolding construction must provide employees proper access to scaffolding surfaces and adequate guardrails while working.  Anything less is a safety violation.

4. Respiratory Protection

OSHA is not only dedicated to protecting employees from physical harm, but health issues as well.

Failing to establish a written respiratory program was one of this last year’s most common violations, followed by the failure to provide proper medical evaluations to those using respirators.

5. Lockout/Tagout

Though lockout/tagout violations dropped this last year, they still remained an issue.  Lockouts/tagouts protect employees from unexpected machine startups or hazardous releases.  Failing to provide them, or conduct regular inspections, resulted in an OSHA violation.

6. Ladders in Construction

Much like falls in construction, the improper use of ladders on construction sites result in multiple safety violations.  For example, failure to use a ladder, using the wrong type of ladder, or using a broken ladder are all ways workers are injured.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks

Those operating forklifts or other industrial powered vehicles must be trained, certified, and reevaluated every three years.

2017 resulted in nearly 2,200 safety violations that included improper vehicle use, lack of training, and a failure to refresh training.

8. Machine Guarding

Moving machine parts pose a danger to anyone working with or near them.  That’s why implementing safeguards to prevent hazards associated with nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks is crucial to protecting employees.

Most OSHA violations for 2017 were for point-of-operation hazards.

9. Fall Protection Training

In addition to a lack of fall protection in construction, 2017 also saw a lack in fall prevention training.  This is one of the newest violations to top the list this year.

10. Electrical Wiring Methods

Faulty electrical wiring methods and improper uses of extension cords garnered nearly 2,000 OSHA violations this past year.  These violations were mostly found in general industry sectors such as food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing.

If you work in an industry that has the potential to incur OSHA violations, learn from 2017’s top ten list and take the necessary measures to ensure your employees are safe and healthy on the job every day.

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