OSHA's preliminary top 10 violations for fiscal year 2014 were recently announced at the National Safety Council Expo by the deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust.
Before we cover those most cited standards, let's a look at a few statistics from 2013.
- The 3,929 fatal work injuries that occurred in private industry is the lowest total since BLS began collecting this data more than 20 years ago.
- Transportation-related incidents accounted for 40% of all fatal work injuries, but declined in 2013.
- One out of six fatal work injuries was the result of violence – including suicide and homicide.
- Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17% of all fatal work injuries in 2013.
In some aspects things are better, but clearly, we still have much work to do. Based on 2013's numbers, on average, there are 85 deaths a week or more than 12 deaths every day. Despite being the lowest total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992, that's still too many deaths!
Many, if not close to all, of these deaths are preventable with proper training and a conscience decision from all parties involved to do things as safe as possible and report unsafe actions. As you can see in the most frequently cited standards, many are still "doing it the way we always have done it." For some, this is laziness or a disregard for safety; and for others, it is simply ignorance to the rules and guidelines. The numbers below should be a reminder that we do still have much to do, and that will be hard without open dialogue and a decision to do better for the sake of all those who became a statistic below.
Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2014:
Examples being: failing to use fall protection correctly or failing to provide fall protection.
- Fall Protection (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.501) 6,143 violations
Hazard Communications (29 CFR 1910.1200) 5,161 violations
Examples being: failing to have safety data sheets (SDS) for each chemical in the workplace or chemical labeling mistakes.
Scaffolding (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.451) 4,029 violations
Examples being: loading scaffolds in excess of their capacity or failing to protect employees from fall hazards on scaffolds.
Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) 3,223 violations
Examples being: lack of a written program or failing to train employees.
Lockout / Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147) 2,704 violations
Examples being: complete lack of a hazardous energy control program or failing to apply locks.
Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178) 2,662 violations
Examples being: lack of operator training or forklifts not in safe operating condition.
Electrical - Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305) 2,490 violations
Examples being: conductors enter boxes unprotected or employees are exposed to live contacts.
Ladders (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.1053) 2,448 violations
Examples being: using an inappropriate type of ladder for the job or using a ladder not designed for the load it is carrying.
Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212) 2,200 violations
Examples being: not using guards at point of operation for machinery that may pose a hazard or guards are removed by employees.
Electrical - General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.303) 2,056 violations
Examples being: not having workers appropriately trained to avoid electric shock or electrocution or not guarding live parts.
Seeing fall protection at the top as the the most cited OSHA violationshouldn't surprise you. If you haven't noticed, that is its fourth year in a row at that spot! The data presented here is preliminary. The finalized data and additional details will be posted in December. Check back then when we will update this article (or post a new one) to include the revised and additional data.
In the meantime, share this information with others! Whether its by emailing or sharing this article on social media sites, or by simple word of mouth at work or with friends. This information is worth most when everyone has the knowledge to prevent these types of accidents. Even if you don't work for a multibillion dollar company, think of the small businesses that have so much to think about that they are oblivious to these facts. To a small company, something so small as a simply hand injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider direct/indirect costs, medical bills, worker's comp, legal fees, etc.
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. As always, if you have ANY safety-related questions, feel free to email us or contact us online