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OSHA Reveals Top 10 Safety Violations of 2014

Posted on 2/3/2015 by James Griffin

Every year, OSHA reports the top ten most frequently cited workplace safety violations. These citations are the result of more than 90,000 annual inspections performed by over 2,000 Federal and State inspectors.

For FYE 2014, the top ten most frequently cited OSHA standards were:
  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  5. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  6. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  7. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  8. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  9. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
While the rankings shift from time to time, these ten standards listed have stayed at the top of OSHA's list for years. These citations all fall into three major hazard types:
  • Falls from a height (including ladders and scaffolding);
  • Contact with hazardous objects/equipment (including lockout/tagout, electrical systems, machine guarding, forklift operations); and
  • Exposure to harmful substances (chemical hazard communication, respirators, electrical systems).

HazCom Violations

Of these ten frequently cited standards, one that presents a big challenge for EHS professionals this year is Hazard Communication. On June 1, 2015, new labeling and other HazCom requirements adopted from the Globally Harmonized System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals (GHS) become mandatory in US workplaces. Major changes under OSHA's revised HazCom standard include new classification criteria for chemical hazards, new hazard markings and labels, and 16-section Safety Data Sheets. Hazard communication is one of the OSHA standards under which employee training is required. Failure to provide this training is a common violation, as is incorrect or inadequate labeling of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

OSHA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Learning from the Top Ten List

Employers should take note of the top ten most cited OSHA standards and ensure they are protecting employees from every hazard present in their workplace. Knowing the specific requirements under these standards helps managers identify red flags and prevent the workplace injuries and illnesses that cost US businesses up to $1 billion per week.

GHS for Hazmat Shippers Webinar

For hazmat shippers, new GHS labels may complicate the shipping process. Knowing which labels are required on which packages and containers, and when, is critical to prevent rejected shipments, confusion in transit, and costly fines from OSHA and US DOT. To help hazmat shippers prepare for compliance, Lion will present the GHS Compliance for Hazmat Shippers Webinar on February 3 and March 3, from 1-3 p.m. ET.


Tags: GHS, HazCom, osha, Recordkeeping and Reporting

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