2017 is a new year, offering up a new chance for everyone to improve their workplace safety record. It's important to know, however, that the 5 most cited OSHA violations continue to remain the same nearly every year. In fact, the top 5 violations in 2016 were same 5 from the year prior and they even ranked in the same exact order.
If we pay attention to where the problems lie, we can make the extra effort to improve our compliance and get these numbers down. This isn't just for the sake of better statistics but an effort to reduce the risks of injury and death on the job.
So what were the most cited OSHA violations of 2016? See the top 5 below.
The Most Cited OSHA Violations of 2016
Fall Protection: 7,402 Cited Violations
Fall protection is an important requirement that seems to always be the first or second most cited OSHA violation. Make sure to adhere to OSHA standards, no matter how long or how high up you're working. Standards may seem overly cautious in some instances, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Hazard Communication: 5,681 Cited Violations
Hazard communication covers a wide variety of information and situations related to chemical hazards. Generally, citations for hazard communication are based on a failure to implement hazard communication, failure to maintain records, or inadequete information about materials and labeling.
Scaffolding: 4,681 Cited Violations
Scaffolding citations make up a large part of OSHA violations and more often than not these citations are the result of improper use, or a lack of protection from falling. Other common scaffolding violations include improper entry and exit to the platforms and inadequate railing. Know the standards and avoid falls and fines!
Respiratory Protection: 3,626 Cited Violations
Respiratory protection is a highly important safety measure in circumstances where its use is required. Not only is respirator use important, it's important to have the proper type of respirators and to ensure they're clean, functional and provide a secure fit. The top citation for respiratory protection is medical evaluation for respiratory protection, followed by non-use and improper fit.
Lockout/Tagout: 3,308 Cited Violations
Lockout and tagout is a big deal. Some of the most horrible, lethal and 100% preventable injuries and fatalities in the workplace are a direct result of failure to properly lockout equipment, machinery, and delivery systems. The top cited violations for lockout/tagout are for unsafe operation, lack of performance evaluations, and lack of valid certification. It's important to follow lockout/tagout by the book to ensure safety in all procedures.
Every day that you step foot into a workplace or onto a job site is a day where you make the decision to perform tasks. It's up to you whether they're performed safely and professionally. Remember that cutting corners is not always at your own risk - your choices and actions can cause serious injury or death to others. Be responsible on the job. Make the right choices when it comes to safety and remind your co-workers to do the same. Everyone wants to make it home safely, every day. Let's make that our goal.