Top 10 OSHA Violations

Have you seen the numbers for FY2019 (Fiscal Year that is, ending 9/30/19).

This time last year Thunderbolt shared 2018 Top OSHA violations across the United States.

OSHA continues to see fall protections as the biggest contributor to violations.

In a recent article from Safety & Health Magazine, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, is quoted describing this year’s round up of violations“These are common violations that we’re finding – they’ve been in place for a lot of years,” Kapust said. “The answers are out there, and employers shouldn’t feel like these are very complex issues. If you don’t know the answers, we encourage you to contact OSHA.”

Most common OSHA violations in FY2019

  • Fall Protection: For the “General Requirements” category, OSHA issued 7,014 violations
    • How to prevent a citation: On the most basic level, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces and six feet in the construction industry.
  • Hazard Communication: 4,170 violations were issued in FY2019.
    • How to prevent a citation: This rule specifically applies to chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers. OSHA requires them to provide Safety Data Sheets with hazard information to downstream users for all hazardous chemicals they distribute.
  • Scaffolds: For the “General Requirements” category, OSHA issued 3,228 violations
    • How to prevent a citation:  There are a lot of pieces to the general scaffolding requirements, but in short, the standard requires fall protection at a 10 foot height above a lower level. Also pay attention to the height of the toprail – scaffolds manufactured before Jan. 1, 2000 have to be between 36 and 45 inches while ones placed in service after that data must be between 38 and 45 inches. Lastly, make sure you have a competent person on your team that can inspect the height when complete.
  • Lockout/Tagout: 2,975 violations were given for lockout/tagout reasons.
    • How to prevent a citation: First and foremost, make sure the equipment you are using can be locked out and, if it’s not, develop a tagout procedure. Part of that tagout procedure should be identifying which users are operating the devices and ensuring only that user removes it.
  • Respiratory Protection: In FY2019, 2,826 citations were given by OSHA.
    • How to prevent a citation: When accepted engineering control measures, like local ventilation or substituting for less toxic materials, are not feasible, employers must provide the use of respirators to protect employees from breathing contaminated air.
  • Ladders: Improper ladder usage and set up resulted in 2,766 violations last year.
    • How to prevent a citation: There are quite a few, very specific rules regarding ladders. It would be in your best interest to read all about them on the OSHA website so you can make sure you’re capturing everything you need to know about ladder safety.
  • Powered Industrial Trucks: OSHA wrote 2,347 violations regarding what are otherwise known as forklifts and tractors.
    • How to prevent a citation: A large piece of avoiding this violation has to do with the safety of the actual machinery itself. It must meet design and construction requirements, and approved trucks must bear a label by the testing agency. There are many other aspects to this standard, so we suggest reading up on it more!
  • Fall Protection, Training Requirements: Differing from the fall protection in the number 1 spot, this specific training violation was cited 2,059 times.
    • How to prevent a citation: As mentioned earlier, fall protection must be provided at 6 feet but even before that, training must occur. OSHA requires training prior to exposing workers to fall hazards 6 feet or more, so that means new employees cannot go up that high unless the training has been certified by a “competent person.”
  • Machine Guarding: 1,987 violations were written in FY2019 for machine guarding incidents.
    • How to prevent a citation: Guarding needs to be provided to protect the user from hazards like sparks or rotating parts during operation. The rules around guards state that they need to be affixed to the machine where possible, or secured elsewhere if not on the machine. Ensure that the guard does not offer an accident hazard in itself.
  • Personal Protection and Lifesaving Equipment: Specifically regarding eye and face protection, OSHA issued 1,630 violations.
    • How to prevent a citation: As the employer, you need to make sure that your employees use the appropriate eye or face protection when exposure to hazards from: “flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, chemical gases, or injurious light radiation.”

Whether you’ve ever been cited by OSHA or not, let 2020 be a brand new year for your construction firm. Understand your OSHA obligations, prevent citations, and you’ll have a great, violation-free year.

Need help tracking your employees training and compliance certifications? Learn more about Thunderbolt Compliance

By | 2024-02-21T13:35:18+00:00 December 19th, 2019|Thunderbolt University|