Occupational Health & Safety

Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s 2011 Violations List

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

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

Fall Protection, with 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.

Coming in a close second place, with 7,069 violations, was Scaffolding. OSHA noted that incidents involving this category often result from improper placement and setup of a scaffold.

The rest of the top 10 violations are as follows:

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 siderails, 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.

About the Author

Laura Swift is Senior Content Editor of two magazines owned by 1105 Media Inc., Occupational Health & Safety and Security Products.

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