OSHA Releases Top 10 'Hit List'

By William Atkinson | Dec 15, 2016

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists its top 10 violations for the year. One list is for construction-site safety violations, and the other is for nonconstruction workplace safety violations.

“Each year, the OSHA Top 10 serves as a guide for employers to address the biggest safety risks facing their employees,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, in response to OSHA’s release of its 2016 lists.

Of the top 10 construction-site safety violations, none were related to electrical work. This is the list, with the number of violations in parentheses:

1. Fall protection (residential construction) (19,367)
2. Ladders (portable) (7,192)
3. Fall protection (guard rails) (6,387)
4. Training requirements (6,175)
5. Eye and face protection (5,835)
6. Head protection (4,997)
7. Scaffolds (fall protection) (3,708)
8. Scaffolds (aerial lifts) (3,438)
9. Fall protection (low-slope roofs) (3,361)
10. Scaffolds (access) (2,993)

With construction accidents accounting for one in five workplace deaths, OSHA has put into place higher penalty payouts. This past summer, OSHA announced an interim rule raising maximum civil penalties by 78 percent to meet the requirements of a federally mandated increase designed to ensure the fines keep pace with inflation. In addition, new rules for tracking and recording violations are on the horizon.

Of the top 10 nonconstruction workplace safety violations, only Nos. 5, 9 and 10 relate to electrical work. Here is the list, with the number of violations in parentheses:

1. Fall protection (6,929)
2. Hazard communication (5,677)
3. Scaffolds (3,906)
4. Respiratory protection (3,585)
5. Lockout/tagout (3,414)
6. Powered industrial trucks (2,860)
7. Ladders (2,639)
8. Machine guarding (2,451)
9. Electrical wiring (1,940)
10. Electrical, general requirements (1,704)

About The Author

ATKINSON has been a full-time business magazine writer since 1976. Contact him at [email protected]


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