For the fourth year in a row, OSHA’s Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited and serious violation in 2015. A “serious” violation is defined by OSHA as “one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”
The entire list is as follows:
- Fall Protection in Construction (1926.501) – 7,402 violations – Identifying fall hazards and deciding how best to protect workers is the first step in reducing or eliminating fall hazards. This includes - but is not limited to - guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall protection systems as well as the use of safe work practices and training.
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,681 violations – both chemicals produced in the workplace and those imported into the workplace fall under this standard. Employers are supposed to educate and communicate the hazards posed by chemicals to workers. Failure to develop and maintain a written program, proper training programs, and have Safety Data Sheet (SDS) available for each hazardous chemical top the citation list.
- Scaffolding in Construction (1926.451) – 4,681 violations – Scaffolding accidents result from planking or support giving away, or an employee slipping or being struck by a falling object while on or underneath scaffolding. Scaffolds must be safely accessed by stairs or ladders; the platform must be fully planked between the uprights and guardrail supports; there must be a fall arrest or guardrail system; and scaffolding systems must be supported on a firm foundation.
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,626 violations – When employers fail to provide employees with respirators for protection against oxygen-deficient work areas, harmful dust, fog, smoke, gas, mist, sprays or vapors, they expose workers to hazards that may cause cancer, impair breathing, and chronic diseases that may lead to death. Employees should have a medical evaluation when exposed to a harmful environment; companies must have a written respiratory safety policy; respirators must be properly fit tested prior to first use and annually fit tested when used throughout the year; and respiratory hazards must be periodically identified and evaluated.
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,308 violations – This refers to specific best practices and procedures that safeguard employees from unexpected machinery and equipment start ups, or the release of hazardous electrical discharges during vehicle or equipment service and maintenance. Workers who service mechanical and electrical equipment face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagouts are not implemented.
- Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT) (1910.178) – 3,004 violations – This category of vehicles that include forklifts and motorized hand trucks. The violations included ensuring the competency of PIT operators, evaluating operator’s performance at least once every three years, removing unsafe PITs from service until repairs, and examining PITs before placing into service on a daily or per-shift basis. Each year, thousands of injuries related to PITs, particularly forklifts, occur. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are driven off loading docks or fall between docks and unsecured trailers. Other common injuries involve employees being struck by lift trucks or falling from elevated pallets and tines.
- Ladders in Construction (1926.1053) – 2,732 violations – Some of the violations include failure to extend a ladder side rails at least three feet above an upper landing surface; not using a ladder for its designed purpose; using ladders with structural defects; using a ladder at an incorrect and hazardous angle; and carry a load up a ladder that puts the employee at risk of falling.
- Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,624 violations – OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions. Equipment, wiring and insulation should be properly grounded, including temporary wiring and splicing. Some of the electrical hazards identified in 2015 include flexible cords and cables used as a substitute for fixed wiring of a structure; open electrical cabinets, boxes and fitting; failure to identify electrical pull boxes, junction boxes and fittings; and conductors entering cutout boxes and cabinets that were exposed to abrasion.
- Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,540 violations – Exposed moving machine parts have the potential to cause serious workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputation, burns or blindness. Improper guarding, failure to anchor machinery and exposure to blades put workers at risk.
- Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 2,181 violations – Electrical systems should be designed so that electrical equipment can be used in accordance with the equipment’s specifications; there is sufficient space around the electrical equipment so that it does not pose a hazard to employees; only approved cabinets can be used to guard live parts operating at 50 volts or more; electrical cabinets and closets cannot be used for storage; and services, feeders and branch circuits must be properly protected.
Neff Rental’s branches and corporate office are aware of and protect its employees against these top-10 workplace hazards by holding safety meetings and having appointed and volunteer safety inspectors periodically discuss and evaluate the workplace environment.
For more information about Neff Rental, visit www.NeffRental.com or call 888-709-NEFF. To learn more about the top 10 safety violations cited by OSHA in 2015, visit: www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html.