Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA
When it comes to OSHA targeting American workplaces for safety violations,
the construction industry topped the charts in fiscal 2002--and for very
Construction again had the largest number of fatal work injuries of any
industry in America, and that number is rising. On average, nearly 24
construction workers were killed on the job each week in the United States
last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of
construction workers killed in 2001--1,225--was up 6 percent over 2000.
The list, published annually in Safety + Health, covers fiscal
year 2002, which ran from October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002.
- 1926.451 Scaffolding/Construction--7,953 violations--This standard
covers the general safety requirements for the construction, maintenance
and use of scaffolding. Basically, employers must protect construction
workers from falls and from falling objects while working on or near
scaffolding at heights of 10 feet or more. Top 5 sections cited: (1)
failure to provide fall protection; (2) failure to provide proper access;
(3) failure to ensure adequate platform construction; (4) lack of personal
fall arrest or guardrail systems; (5) failure to properly support scaffolding.
- 1910.1200 Hazard Communication--6,702 violations--This standard
addresses the hazards of chemicals, both those chemicals produced in
the workplace and those imported into the workplace. It also governs
the communication of those hazards to workers. Top 5 sections cited:
(1) failure to develop and maintain a written program; (2) failure to
maintain training; (3) lack of employee training; (4) failure to have
a MSDS for each hazardous chemical; (5) failure to label each container.
- 1926.501 Fall Protection/Construction--5,118 violations--This
standard tells workers and employers where fall protection is required;
which fall protection systems are appropriate for given situations;
the proper construction and installation of safety systems, and the
proper supervision of employees to prevent falls. It is designed to
protect construction personnel working above 6 feet. Top 5 sections
cited: (1) failure to use a guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest
system; (2) failure to provide protection/residential construction;
(3) failure to provide protection/low-slope roofs; (4) failure to provide
protection/steep roofs; (5) failure to provide protection/wall openings.
- 1910.134 Respiratory Protection--4,075 violations--This standard
directs employers to establish or maintain a respiratory protection
program to protect employees. The standard contains requirements for
program administration; worksite-specific procedures; respirator selection;
employee training; fit testing; medical evaluation; respirator use;
and respirator cleaning, maintenance and repair. Top 5 sections cited:
(1) failure to establish and implement written program; (2) failure
to conduct medical evaluation; (3) failure to provide Appendix D when
voluntary use deemed permissible; (4) failure to fit-test; (5) failure
to ensure employees can demonstrate knowledge.
- 1910.147 Lockout/Tagout--3,796 violations--This standard lays
out the minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous
energy during the maintenance and servicing of machinery. The standard
requires that lockout be used for equipment designed with a lockout
capability. Lockout/tagout procedures should be followed during maintenance
or repair operations to ensure that power sources are locked in the
"off" position and clearly marked with a tag so other workers
will not turn on a machine by mistake. The standard also contains criteria
for establishing an effective program for locking out devices. Top 5
sections cited: (1) failure to establish program; (2) failure to develop
procedures for energy control; (3) lack of employee training; (4) failure
to conduct periodic inspections; (5) inadequate procedures.
- 1910.305 Electrical Wiring--3,106 violations--This standard
covers the grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation.
It includes temporary wiring and splicing, components such as lighting
fixtures and switches, and equipment such as flexible cords and cables.
- 1910.212 Machine Guarding--2,747 violations--This standard
covers the general safety requirements for how and when to use machine
guards. Basically, employers must place guards over or in front of a
machine's moving parts to protect workers. Top 5 sections cited: (1)
failure to provide machine guarding; (2) failure to guard point-of-operation;
(3) failure to anchor fixed machinery; (4) failure to guard exposed
blades; (5) failure to affix guards.
- 1910.178 Powered Industrial Trucks--2,421 violations--This
standard covers the design, maintenance and operation of all kinds of
powered industrial trucks, from forklifts to motorized hand trucks.
Top 5 sections cited: (1) failure to ensure operator competency; (2)
lack of operator certification; (3) failure to remove unsafe trucks
from operation; (4) lack of operator training; (5) failure to inspect
- 1910.303 Electrical Systems--2,219 violations--This standard
covers the general safety requirements for designing electrical systems.
Top 5 sections cited: (1) failure to guard electrical equipment; (2)
failure to identify disconnecting means and circuits; (3) failure to
install and use electrical equipment according to factory instructions;
(4) use of electrical equipment containing recognized hazards; (5) failure
to keep work spaces clear.
- 1910.219 Mechanical Power--2,026 violations--This standard
calls for the proper guarding of components such as gears, chains, belts,
pulleys and drive shafts so that workers do not become caught in the