The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been around since the early 1970′s and it’s primary objective is to set and enforce safety standards in workplace environments. Each year OSHA releases information on the most common violations they find in terms of safety compliance. Here is OSHA’s recently updated top ten list for violations in 2010.
Scaffolding – 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
Fall Protection – Work over four feet off the ground and your employer needs to be addressing fall protection. Since this issue is second on the list it’s obvious more work needs to be done here.
Hazard Communication – If you have any kind of chemicals or hazardous materials in your workplace OSHA regs require that they be properly labeled, stored, and workers need proper training in handling these materials.
Respiratory Protection – Under OSHA regulations, as many as 5 million workers in 1.3 million job sites across the country need to wear respirators on the job. With this many people needing proper breathing equipment and protection it’s no wonder this issue would show up on the list.
Lockout/Tagout – Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)’ is a short term that describes specific safety practices that safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities,” according to OSHA. A good number of companies failed in terms of LOTO compliance and training.
Electrical â€“ Wiring Methods – Electrical systems are common in the workplace and for those that work around them, most are aware of the need for safety, however if untrained or unassuming workers are exposed to electrical hazards many of them may not know what to do. Avoid loose wires and contact trained repair technicians when necessary.
Ladders – The use of ladders is one of the most common things that can lead to accidents in the workplace as well as at home. According to the Department of Labor, falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic death by workers, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma. Unfortunately many people are too comfortable around ladders and forget about basic ladder safety. It’s simple but effective at reducing accidents.
Powered Industrial Trucks – According to OSHA, tens of thousands of workers are injured during fork lift incidents or when lifts are left alone on the work site. Over 2,900 accidents occurred last year alone.
Electrical â€“ General – Found twice on the top ten list, electricity represents one of the most common hazards that cause injury or death. Ample training, and compliance is necessary to maintain safety when working with or around electrical hazards.
Machine Guarding – Moving parts on machines continue to represent a common hazard in the workplace. Ensuring that proper guards and protections are helpful but it’s also important to provide proper operational and safety training when working around any piece of industrial equipment.