Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for the fiscal year of 2018 at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas. The presentation was given to a standing room only crowd of safety professionals and experts. While the list is very similar to previous years, one standard saw its first appearance on the top 10.
The preliminary data collected by OSHA covers violations cited between October 1st, 2017 through September 30th, 2018. This means that the exact numbers associated with the various violations may change, but their ranking on the list will most likely remain the same when the organization releases the final numbers.
Fiscal Year 2018 Top 10 OSHA Violations:
1) Duty to provide fall protection (7,270 violations)
This violation has been on the top of OSHA’s list for several years straight and according to Kapust this commonly includes failure to provide proper fall protection near unprotected sides and edges and low-slope/steep roofs. These citations are most commonly issued to roofing contractors, framing contractors, masonry contractors, and new single-family housing construction contractors.
2) Hazard Communication (4,552 violations)
Another violation that hasn’t moved from the number two spot in many years. The most common citations for this category are lack of a written program, inadequate training, and failure to properly develop or maintain safety data sheets (SDSs). The top industries that received these violations were auto repair facilities, hotels, and motels.
3) Scaffolds (3,336 violations)
Typically when businesses are cited for scaffolding violations it includes lack of proper decking, failure to provide personal fall arrest systems and/or guardrails where required, and failure to ensure that supported scaffolds are adequately supported on a solid foundation. The top industries cited are masonry, siding, and framing contractors.
4) Respiratory Protection (3,118 violations)
Citations that were frequently given out regarding respiratory protection include failure to establish a program, failure to perform required fit testing, and failure to provide medical evaluations. Auto body refinishing, painting contractors, and wall covering contractors were the industries to receive the most violations.
5) Lockout/Tagout (2,944 violations)
Employers were mostly cited for this violation for failing to establish any kind of energy control procedure, while some other businesses were handed citations for poor employee training, failure to develop machine-specific procedures, and lack of proper lockout/tagout equipment.
6) Ladders (2,812 violations)
Some of the most common citations when it comes to ladders includes failure to have side rails extend 3 feet beyond a landing surface, using ladders for unintended purposes, using the top step of a stepladder and ladders with broken steps or rails. These violations were typically found in roofing, framing, siding, and masonry contractors.
7)Powered Industrial Trucks (2,294 violations)
Violations in this category typically covered forklifts that were damaged or not up to code and were still be used, improper training or certification for those operating forklifts, and failure to recertify forklift operators. Forklift citations were widespread throughout many industries but were typically found in warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing, and wood container and pallet manufacturing.
8) Fall Protection (1,982 violations)
The most commonly cited fall protection issues include failing to provide training to each person required to receive it, failure to certify training in writing, failing to ensure that training is provided by a competent person, and failing to train the proper use of guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.
9) Machine Guarding (1,972 violations)
These violations typically include failing to guard points of operation, failing to ensure that guards are securely attached to machinery, and failure to properly anchor fixed machinery. While this citation is found across many different industries it is most common in machine shops, fabricated metal manufacturing, and plastics manufacturing.
10) Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment / Ear and Eye Protection (1,536 violations)
This is the first time the violation has made OSHA’s top 10 list and replaces electrical wiring methods. The most common issues cited when it comes to protective equipment include failing to provide eye and face protection where employees are exposed to hazards from flying objects; failing to provide protection from caustic hazards, gases, and vapors; and allowing employees to wear combinations of prescription and safety eyewear that compromise the protective qualities.
Worker safety is a must in every industry and ensuring your employees well being should be a top priority for all of those in manufacturing. It is unfortunate that so many violations were handed out in the fiscal year, but understanding the top violations is key to protecting the most important part of your business, the human talent keeping operations running. Manufacturing Talk Radio is a huge proponent of worker safety and will be sure to keep our eyes on OSHA’s top violations.