The annual top 10 safety violations released by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emphasize the importance of worker safety. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for fiscal year 2018 during the NSC (National Safety Council) Congress & Expo in Houston.
Preliminary OSHA data includes violations cited between Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30,2018. The exact numbers associated with violations change, but their rankings on the list
likely will remain the same when the organization releases its final numbers.
The top 10 OSHA violations for fiscal year 2018 are:
1. Duty to provide fall protection (7,270 violations). This violation has topped OSHA’s list for several years. Violators often failed to provide proper fall protection near unprotected sides and edges and low-slope and steep roofs, Kapust said. OSHA most commonly issued these citations to roofing, framing and masonry contractors and new single-family housing construction contractors.
2. Hazard communication (4,552 violations). Hazard communication has filled the No. 2 spot for years. The most common reasons for these citations were lack of a written program, inadequate training and failure to develop properly or maintain safety data sheets (SDSs). OSHA most commonly cited auto repair facilities, hotels and motels.
3. Scaffolds (3,336 violations). Typically when OSHA cited businesses for scaffolding violations, problems included lack of proper decking, failure to provide personal fall arrest systems, guardrails or both where required, and failure to ensure supported scaffolds are supported adequately on solid foundation. OSHA most commonly cited masonry, siding and framing contractors.
4. Respiratory protection (3,118 violations). Respiratory protection citations frequently included failure to establish a program, failure to perform required fit testing and failure to provide medical evaluations. Auto body refinishing, painting contractors and wall covering contractors received the most violations.
5. Lockout/tagout (2,944 violations). Most employers cited for this violation failed to establish any energy control procedure. Other businesses earned citations for poor employee training, failure to develop machine specific procedures and lack of proper lockout/tagout equipment.
6. Ladders (2,812 violations). The most common ladder citations involved failure to extend side rails 3 feet beyond a landing surface, using ladders for unintended purposes, using top steps of stepladders and using ladders with broken steps or rails. Roofing, framing, siding and masonry contractors received most of these citations.
7. Powered industrial trucks (2,294 violations). Violations in this category typically applied to forklifts that were being used despite being damaged or not up to code, improper training or certification of people operating forklifts and forklift operators who failed to recertify. OSHA issued forklift citations throughout many industries, but particularly in warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing and wood container and pallet manufacturing industries.
8. Fall protection (1,982 violations). The most commonly cited fall protection violations included failure to provide training to each person required to receive it, failure to certify training in writing, failure to ensure training is provided by a competent person and failure to train on the proper use of guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.9. Machine guarding (1,972 violations).
These violations typically included failure to guard points of operation, failure to ensure guards are attached securely to machinery and failure to anchor fixed machinery properly.
OSHA issued this citation across many industries, and especially in machine shops, fabricated metal manufacturing and plastics manufacturing.
10. Personal protective and lifesaving equipment/ear and eye protection (1,536 violations). OSHA issued most protective equipment citations for: failing to provide eye and face
protection where employees are exposed to flying object hazards; failing to provide protection from caustic hazards, gases and vapors; and allowing employees to wear combinations of prescription and safety eyewear that compromise protective qualities.