Welcome to the Safety Training Services Blog!

OSHA's Top 10 Violations for 2015 and Trends for 2016

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

OSHA recently announced this fiscal year's preliminary list of their "Top 10" most frequently cited workplace safety violations. Below, you will find the list as well some insight on OSHA's new approach to inspections and trends for 2016. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing blog articles written with the intent of showcasing these top violations, and how to avoid them.

The "Top 10" for FY 2015 are:Fall protection is still the most cited OSHA safety violation

  1. Fall Protection (Construction) 
    • Standard Cited: 1926.501 - 6,721 violations
    • Violations up (6,143 in FY 2014)
  2. Hazard Communication
    • Standard Cited: 1910.1200 - 5,192 violations
    • Violations up (5,161 in FY 2014)
  3. Scaffolding (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.451 - 4,295 violations
    • Violations up (4,029 in FY 2014)
  4. Respiratory Protection
    • Standard Cited: 1910.134 - 3,305 violations
    • Violations down (3,223 in FY 2014)
  5. Lockout/Tagout
    • Standard Cited: 1910.147 - 3,002 violations
    • Violations up (2,704 in FY 2014)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks
    • Standard Cited: 1910.178 - 2,760 violations
    • Violations up (2,662 in FY 2014)
  7. Ladders (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.1053 - 2,489 violations
    • Violations up (2,448 in FY 2014)
  8. Electrical-Wiring Methods
    • Standard Cited: 1910.305 - 2,404 violations
    • Violations down (2,490 in FY 2014)
  9. Machine Guarding
    • Standard Cited: 1910.212 - 2,295 violations
    • Violations up (2,200 in FY 2014)
  10. Electrical-General Requirements
    • Standard Cited: 1910.303 - 1,973 violations
    • Violations down (2,056 in FY 2014)

Remember, these are what causes the majority of injuries and deaths as well as what a compliance officer would look for most often during inspections.

Also, OSHA had announced that it will change the way it approaches inspections. The plan was to (starting this month, October 2015) emphasize quality over quantity. The idea was that OSHA would then be able to tackle more complicated, time-consuming inspections and therefore more impactful inspections. There is a bit of pressure under the current system to make the numbers, and hopefully with a new system, more meaningful and effective inspections can occur and lead to improved worker safety.

The last piece to note is about enforcement trends. As the number of inspections may change going into 2016 due to the changes in their approach to inspections, the trend of paying higher fines per citation has been continued into 2015 and may very well continue into 2016 seeing as the new system of inspections will focus on these more impactful inspections. Also to note on that subject is OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) which saw an almost 25% increase from 2014 to 2015, and continues onwards to today. Lastly, many more OSHA inspections are brought about by employee complaints, as OSHA has reached out to employees directly and allows easier access for them to go online and reach out to OSHA. Unjustifed complaints come in, due to disgrunted employees or whatnot, but this can be reduced by creating good safety culture within their workplace. Expect this trend of more concerned employees reaching out to continue.

Tags: osha training, osha most cited, OSHA, osha compliance, osha top violations, osha safety, osha general industry training, osha safety topics, osha violations, osha safety training, osha violations 2015

Why is Fall Protection Important? Because Deaths Are Preventable!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

"Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry."


fall protection training, fall protection, what is fall protection, fall safety, fall protection construction, osha safetyAccording to the last data available (2013), there were 796 total fatalities in the construction industry. Let's round that off to 800, for the ease of digesting the numbers. Out of that number of fatalities, 294 were fall fatalities. Let's round that to 300 (again for ease of use in digestion of the numbers). So that gives us 300 fall fatalities out of 800 fatalities (within the construction industry), which means 3 out of every 8 deaths were from falls! Not only is that unfortunate due to it meaning 37% of the deaths in the construction industry are from falls alone, but also because those deaths are preventable. Yes, one could argue that ALL falls and fall injuries (including deaths) are preventable!

OSHA has provided us three simple steps to preventing more falls, fall injuries, and fall fatalities, you may have heard them before:

  • Plan

  • Provide

  • Train

"PLAN ahead to get the job done safely."

Working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, can be done safely. It is important for employers to plan ahead by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment is needed to complete the job or task. Include safety equipment when estimating the cost of a job any be sure to have any other necessary equipment or tools available at the job site. 

OSHA Example: "In a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)."

"PROVIDE the right equipment."fall protection training, fall protection, what is fall protection, fall safety, fall protection construction, osha safety

To protect workers who are six feet or more above lower levels and are at risk for serious injury or death if they fell, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job. This includes the correct choice of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear; and note that there are different individual types of ladders, gear, etc. that are to be used for certain situations or jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely.

OSHA Example: "For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it's still in good condition and safe to use."

"TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely."

Training workers on how to recognize hazards, care for and safely use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems (and any other equipment necessary for the job) can prevent falls. 

OSHA Example: "When you know your rights, and when employers act responsibly to prevent hazards, the result will be fewer worker deaths, injuries and illnesses. Training and education are key in making this happen."

To Prevent Employees from Being Injured from Falls, Employers Must:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).

  • Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.

  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat or acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.

  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety and harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and hand rails.

Falls from roofs can be prevented!

  • Wear a harness and always stay connected.

  • Make sure your harness fits.

  • Use guardrails or lifelines.

  • Inspect all fall protection equipment before use.

  • Guard or cover all holes, openings, and skylights.

Falls from ladders can be prevented!

  • Choose the right ladder for the job.

  • Maintain three points of contact.

  • Secure the ladder.

  • Always face the ladder.

  • Guard or cover all holes, openings, and skylights.

Falls from scaffolds can be prevented!

  • Use fully planked scaffolds.

  • Ensure proper access to scaffold.

  • Plumb and level.

  • Complete ALL guardrails.

  • Ensure stable footing.

  • Inspect before use (by competent person).

fall protection training, fall protection, what is fall protection, fall safety, fall protection construction, osha safety

Getting to a 'Competent Person Status' is easy! STS has both a fall protection awareness level and a competent person level training course available!

The duties and responsibilities of the competent person for fall protection include:

  • Immediate supervision, implementation and monitoring of the fall protection program.
  • Preparation and implementation of:
    • Fall protection and prevention plans
    • Fall arrest rescue plans and procedures
  • Identify hazardous and dangerous conditions in the workplace and take prompt corrective measures to correct them.
  • Conduct fall hazard survey and prepare survey and assessment report.
  • Inspection and installation of approved fall protection systems.
  • Compliance with fall protection and prevention plans and fall arrest rescue plans.
  • Ensure end users/authorized persons working at heights and using fall protection equipment are adequately trained.
  • Supervise the selection, installation, and inspection of non-certified anchorages.
  • Supervise the installation, use, and inspection of certified anchorages, under the direction of the qualified person for fall protection.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of fall protection systems and equipment.
  • Conduct inspection and accident investigations.
  • Have full responsibility and authority to implement the fall protection.

Click below for more information on Fall Protection Training. We offer this training at our facility or yours! Don't wait until "something happens," get appropriate safety training today!
Click for more info on   Fall Protection at STS!

Tags: fall protection, construction industry, deaths are preventable, osha safety