Each year OSHA releases the top ten list of most frequently cited violations of the year. In the majority of cases, the list really doesn’t change too much from year to year. In 2013, the number one and number two spots remained the same as they were in 2012. The top spot, fall protection, had 7250 violations in 2013, making it a very significant risk for employees in many industries. It should be no real surprise that this is also one of the leading causes of workplace accidents.
Why the Top 10 List is Important
After reviewing the full top 10 list from NSC.org, which will be listed below, it is important to take a step back and really think about each one of the items. These aren’t just some arbitrary violations that companies are cited for, these are important safety regulations that can literally save the lives of employees and other people in the workplace. It is important to take them very seriously, and evaluate your companies standing on each of them.
Not every company will have risks associated with all of the different violations listed on OSHA’s top 10 list, but virtually every company will have at least one or two on the list. Even companies that aren’t really struggling when it comes to keeping up with safety standards would do well to go over this list and make some changes and improvements to further reduce the number of accidents that can occur.
OSHA’s Top 10 Violations in 2013
The following list is from the OSHA top ten cited violations:
1. Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) 7250 violations
2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)
3. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451) – 3018 violations (Big problem, people using scaffoldings as ladders and ladders as scaffolding, assuming one could work for the other.)
4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
5. Electrical – Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305)
6. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178)
7. Ladders (1926.1053)
8. Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
9. Electrical – General (29 CFR 1910.303) 2863 violations
10. Machine Guarding – General Requirement (29 CFR 1910.212)
It is easy to see how many of the items on this list can be problems for a wide range of companies, and it will be very difficult to eliminate the risks all together. Other items, however, can be resolved by simply providing employees with the proper workplace safety gear. The item listed in spot number four for the past two years, respiratory protection, can be resolved by each facility evaluating their need for this type of protection, and then having it available to everyone in the facility. Of course, enforcing the required use of these items is also essential for having that problem removed from OSHA’s list.
How to Evaluate Risk
When safety managers or other facility leaders look at this list, they should immediately start trying to figure out their own top 10 list of problems in their own facility. Some of the items on OSHA’s list will not be on the facilities, but new ones could be introduced. Using top 10 lists like this is a great way to get things done, and this type of list has also been shown to draw attention, which is important.
Looking at the existing top ten lists is a great way to get the ball rolling. A great many of these items on the list will likely show up on most facilities as well. This can be a great starting point for any facility to try to improve safety, and reduce the total number of citations given out by OSHA each year. These are things that should be done by every facility, without having to be cited by OSHA first.