If you, like most employers, put a great deal of time and effort into workplace safety to protect your workers, knowing where the most common risks lie is important. A quick review of 10 OSHA standards for which employers are most frequently cited will give you an idea of hazards that merit special attention in the workplace.
The OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2015
The most recent list of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards was released on October 12, 2015, as part of the annual National Safety Congress & Expo. The list for fiscal year 2015 (From Oct. 1 2014 to Sept. 30 2015) is as follows:
- Fall Protection (1926.501) – This standard tops the list, as it has every year since 2011, with citations numbering 6,721 in fiscal year 2015, up from 6,143 citations reported on the 2014 list.
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192 citations for violating this standard were recorded in 2015, a slight drop in citations as compared to the 5,161 issued in 2014.
- Scaffolding (1926.451) – Citations for violations of this standard numbered 4,295 in 2015, up from 4,029 in 2014.
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – Employers were cited for violating this standard 3,305 times in 2015, as compared to a slightly lower 3,223 citations in 2014.
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – Cited violations of this standard numbered 3,002 in 2015, up from 2,704 in fiscal year 2014.
- Powered industrial trucks (1910.178) – 2,760 citations were issued to employers found in violation of this standard in 2015, up from 2,662 in 2014.
- Ladders (1926.1053) – With 2,489 citations in 2015, this standard moved up a notch on the list since 2014, when it was in 8th place with 2,448 cited violations.
- Electrical, Wiring Methods (1910.305) – Moving down from its 7th place standing on the 2014 list, violations of this standard were cited 2,404 times in 2015, as compared to 2,490 citations reported during the previous fiscal year.
- Machine Guarding (1910.212) – Cited violations of this standard numbered 2,295 on the 2015 list, as compared to 2014's 2,200 citations.
- Electrical, General Requirements (1910.303) – With 1,973 citations issued in 2015, cited violations dropped as compared to 2014 citations, which totaled 2,056.
How to Reduce Your Odds of Contributing to Next Year's Numbers
The first step to avoiding these frequently cited violations is to read the standards they pertain to in order to ensure that you have all aspects of compliance covered in your workplace. If you do not understand the requirements of any of these standards or are not sure if they apply to your business, reaching out to your local OSHA office for guidance can help. Making sure that must-have safety solutions are in place and up-to-date – required safety equipment, effective employee safety training, and written safety policies and procedures, for instance – is also very important.
Reducing your rates of employee injuries can help reduce your risk of coming to OSHA's attention in the first place, so consider implementing effective injury prevention strategies in your workplace. These strategies may include Pre-Hire/Post-Offer Physical Abilities Testing or an ergonomics program to reduce the risk of injuries related to slips, trips and falls and musculoskeletal injuries and disorders among your workers. Given the costs and hassles associated with OSHA violations, going the extra mile to avoid them is sure to be a worthwhile investment in your business.