Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s 2011 Violations List

Reprint: Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s 2011 Violations List

 By Laura Swift

Occupational Health & Safety Online Magazine

November 02, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — OSHA unveiled its top 10 most frequently cited violations during a live presentation yesterday on the expo floor at NSC.

  1. Fall Protection 7,139 violations
    Topped the list this year switching places with last year’s first place holder, Scaffolding. OSHA said 260 workers died in 2010 from falls, which continue to be the leading cause of death in construction.
  2. Scaffolding – 7,069 violations
    OSHA noted that incidents involving this category often result from improper placement and setup of a scaffold.
  3. Hazard Communication – 6,538 violations
    OSHA said most violations involved not having a written Hazard Communication program, a lack of a training program, and a lack of MSDS management system.
  4. Respiratory Protection – 3,944 violations
    Roughly five million workers in the U.S. are required to wear respirators. OSHA said employers must provide workers with proper medical evaluations and fit testing.
  5. Lockout/Tagout – 3,639 violations
    Not following proper Lockout/Tagout procedures can result in unexpected energization of parts and a release of hazardous energy. This standard prevents 50,000 injuries and 120 fatalities a year, OSHA said. A worker spends 24 days away from work to recover from a LOTO injury, the agency noted.
  6. Electrical (Wiring) – 3,584 violations
    Working with electricity involves working on overhead lines, circuit assemblies, cables harnesses, and other equipment.
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,432 violations
    OSHA said there were 8,410 injuries in the U.S. in 2009 related to forklifts.
  8. Ladders – 3,244 violations
    Ladders make up about 25 percent of falls, OSHA said. Hazards include improper use of side rails, unintended use of ladders, and defective ladders.
  9. Electrical – 2,863 violations
    Many violations involve not following electrical installation requirements.
  10. Machine Guarding – 2,556 violations
    Improper machine guarding can result in broken bones, finger lacerations, and hand crushes. In 2009, 5,930 workers suffered amputations from machine-related incidents.
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