At any job, you will should see posted certain guidelines set in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent injuries in the workplace. OSHA regularly inspects companies in Texas and the rest of the country to ensure that they abide by these guidelines. At the end of the fiscal year, OSHA releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited violations of the national guidelines so that you and your employers can learn the most common issues and make changes to reduce preventable injuries, illness and death.
According to the Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, the top five workplace safety violations for the 2015 fiscal year (the most recent data to date) include the following, as listed on their website:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
If you are wondering about the rest of the list, it includes powered industrial trucks, ladders, electrical or wiring methods, machine guarding and general requirements for electrical work.
As mentioned in a previous post, scaffolding poses a danger to workers, but many of the injuries could have been prevented and are a result of employer neglect. The number of preventable deaths concerning accidents involving scaffolding each year is between 35-50 deaths and the number of preventable injuries per year is at 4500. Scaffolding holds the No. 3 spot for most violation citations.
You might be surprised that hazard communication remained at the second spot on the list despite a 20 percent decrease from the previous year. The reduction is possibly due to new chemical labeling guidelines, but there remains a danger, as evidenced by the report. You might be very familiar with the No. 1 citation on the list: fall protection. It has earned the top spot of the most commonly cited violation of OSHA guidelines for the past five years.
Unfortunately, OSHA sees the same categories make the list year after year despite its best efforts. Although these violations continue to cause injuries and illnesses that could be prevented, the number of accidents have decreased in the past few years. One way you could further reduce the number is to appoint a person in control for every group of five workers at your place of employment.