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October 19, 2016
Fall protection, hazard communication top OSHA violations list again
By Ana Ellington, Legal Editor

Patrick Kapust, Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement programs, announced the most frequently violated standards for fiscal year (FY) 2016 at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo 2016 in Anaheim, California.

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Kapust reminded the audience that the following data is preliminary. The Agency will finalize the numbers the second week in November, which will become the official top 10 list. He also noted that the top 10 most violated standards vary little from year to year.

10. Electrical—general requirements: 1,704 violations

Common violations of the general industry rule include:

  • Not guarding live parts
  • Not protecting working space, maintain

9. Electrical—wiring methods: 1,940 violations

Common violations of this general industry rule include:

  • Using extensions/flexible cords as or instead of permanent wiring

8. Machine guarding: 2.451 violations

Common violations of this general industry rule include:

  • Lack of guarding at point of operation/nip points
  • Not anchoring fixed machinery

Amputations are a major hazard of insufficient machine guarding, for which OSHA has a National Emphasis Program. The reporting requirement that went into effect January 1, 2015, require employers to report to OSHA any amputation, including fingertip amputations with or without bone loss, within 24 hours of the incident.

7. Ladders: 2,639 violations

These construction rule violations include:

  • Using ladders in ways not designed to be used
  • Using top rung
  • Using damaged ladders

6. Powered industrial trucks: 2,860 violations

These general industry standard violations include:

  • Not operating trucks safely
  • Not training workers operating trucks
  • Not complying with recertification requirements
  • Not providing refresher training when worker is observed operating unsafely
  • Not maintaining trucks for safe use

According to Kapust, many of these violations involve fatalities.

5. Lockout/tagout: 3,414 violations

These general industry rule violations include:

  • Workers not getting required training
  • No lockout/tagout procedures

Kapust said these violations also involved fatalities.

4. Respiratory protection: 3,585 violations

These general industry standard violations include:

  • Workers have not been medically evaluated to wear respiratory protection
  • Employers are not providing respiratory protection when needed
  • Workers are not being properly fit-tested
  • Employers have not established a respiratory protection program

3. Scaffolding: 3,906 violations

These construction rule violations include:

  • Lack of safe access to scaffolding
  • Not providing appropriate fall protection
  • Intermixing parts to build scaffolding

2. Hazard communication: 5,677 violations

These general industry violations include:

  • Lack of training for workers handling hazardous chemicals
  • Not maintaining safety data sheet (SDS) for each chemical of the facility
  • Not having a hazard communication program
  • Temporary workers—not being trained in hazard communication specific to the host worksite

1. Fall protection: 6,929 violations
These construction rule violations include:

  • Unprotected sizes and edges
  • Not providing appropriate fall protection

Kapust noted that the construction standard may apply in general industry for certain activities. Employers should review the activities at their facilities to make certain they are following the correct fall protection standard.

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