What are OSHA inspectors targeting now? The agency has released its top 10 violations for fiscal year 2011.
The Deputy Director for OSHA’s Directorate of Environmental Programs, Patrick Kapust, provided the new list at the National Safety Council’s annual Congress.
The list includes a mix of general industry and construction standards:
- Fall protection in construction (1926.501): 7,139 violations; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says 260 workers died in fiscal year 2010 due to violations of this standard.
- Scaffolding in construction (1926.451): 7,069 violations; BLS says in FY 2010, 37 workers died because of incidents involving faulty scaffolding.
- Hazard communication (1910.1200): 6,538 violations; Kapust says in one fatal incident involving hazard communication, an employee lit a lighter to see the level of material inside a barrel, and the substance ignited. Proper labeling should have indicated how full the barrel was and that the material inside was combustible.
- Respiratory protection (1910.134): 3,944 violations; five million workers in the U.S. are covered under this standard and are required to wear respirators at their jobs.
- Lockout/tagout (1910.147): 3,639 violations; the average days away from work for employees injured in incidents connected to this standard is 24.
- Electrical wiring methods (1910.305); 3,584 violations; employees affected by this standard range from engineers, electricians, and other professionals who work with electricity directly, to office workers and administrative staff who use any type of electrical equipment.
- Powered industrial trucks (1910.178); 3,432 violations; BLS says in FY 2010, there were 8,410 injuries connected to use of powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts.
- Ladders in construction (1926.1053): 3,244 violations; falls are consistently one of the top three causes of worker fatalities.
- Electrical general requirements (1910.303): 2,863 violations; this standard seeks to prevent injuries and deaths from electric shock, fires and explosions.
- Machine guarding (1910.212): 2,748 violations; this standard also covers anchoring of equipment.
This list covers the period from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011.
For compliance assistance on these standards, you can go to OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics pages.