The Occupational Safety and Health Administration holds companies and employers to task. The administration has set forth rules and regulations ensuring the safety of every employee in workplaces across the country. To make sure that companies are following these rules, OSHA sends its own employees to inspect workplaces, looking for violations to safety codes. Each year, OSHA releases its list of the top 10 violations it has cited employers and businesses for. The list doesn’t change dramatically from year-to-year. Here is the list of top 10 violations in 2016.
This is standard 1926.501. Total violations across the standard for 2016 totaled 6,906. It holds its top spot this year, although the number of violations decreased by approximately 500. The codes in the fall protection standard dictate where fall protection must be present, the systems that are appropriate, and the design and installation of those systems. It’s aim is to protect any employee who is working on a surface higher than 6 feet.
Standard 1910.1200 had 5,665 violations in 2016. It ranked second in 2015 as well, with 5,681 violations. These codes address chemical hazards. Specifically, those manufactured by the workplace and those imported into the workplace. The standard also dictates how those hazards are communicated to workers.
The standard that sets forth rules and regulations regarding scaffolding is 1926.451. There were 3,900 violations and it remained in 3rd place for a second year. These codes dictate the safety requirements for scaffolding, the construction of scaffolding, and whether the scaffolding is loaded in accordance with its design. Employers have a duty to protect their employees who are working on or near scaffolding at a height of 10 feet or higher.
1910.134 is the standard that details respiratory protection. There were 3,573 violations this year, down from 3,626 violations last year. These codes ensure that employers provide employees with respiratory protection and train those employees on its proper use, maintenance and repair.
Standard 1910.147 defines lockout/tagout. There were 3,406 violations for 2016, which is slightly up from 2015 when there were 3,308 violations. This standard outlines the requirements for performance when hazardous energy is produced by the servicing and maintenance of equipment.
The design, maintenance and operation of forklifts, hand trucks and other powered industrial trucks are dictated under standard 1910.178. There were 2,855 written violations in 2016 and 3,004 in 2015.
Ladders are used frequently in construction and other jobs that involve labor. Standard 1926.1053 and there were 2,625 violations in 2016. This year’s ranking at number 7 is the same as last year. Codes in this standard dictate the general requirement for all ladders used in the workplace.
When an employee operates a machine at work, the moving parts need to be covered in such a way that the machine is still operable but the employee is protected from danger. Standard 1910.212 covers these regulations of which there were 2,448 violations in 2016. Hazards may be created by rotating parts, sparks, flying chips and points of operation.
Standard 1910.305 outlines the grounding of electrical equipment. It also regulates the wiring and insulation of electrical equipment. The regulations include those for temporary wiring and splicing. There were 1,937 violations in 2016 and the standard dropped from 8 last year to 9 this year in number of citations issued.
These regulations cover the general requirements for the design of electrical systems in the workplace. Standard 1910.303 had 1,704 violations in 2016, down significantly from 2,181 in 2015.
While OSHA sets forth regulations for the protection of employees in the workplace, they can only do so much. It is up to each employer and employee to protect the workforce. As an employer, it is important to understand the guidelines that apply to your industry. As an employee, it is important that you do the same.
If you believe that your workplace is not a safe one or that hazards are present, it is important that you speak to your supervisor. Ignoring issues will not make them go away and, in fact, may mean that someone gets hurt unnecessarily. If you do not know who to approach with a suspected safety hazard, ask your immediate supervisor. If your employer fails to remedy a hazard that you point out, you may have legal recourse.
Any person who is injured on the job is covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Employers are to have procedures in place for the reporting of injuries sustained on the job.If you are unaware of the procedures to follow after an on-the-job injury, speak to your supervisor for information or clarification.
If you have been injured in the workplace or denied worker’s compensation in West Palm Beach, call our office. A member of our team will help you set up an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details surrounding your injury or your original claim and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.