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Sep 2016

Top Ten OSHA Citations: Stay off of this list!


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OSHA published its yearly list of the top ten citation subjects. This list deals with the citations OSHA delivered for violation of safety standards between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015. Read through the top ten citations, and make sure you are meeting these standards!

10. Electrical General Requirements: These requirements are meant to keep employees safe from exposure to electrical currents in the workplace. The general requirements address adequate operation of electrical equipment, durability in all conditions, proper maintenance, and more.

9. Machine Guarding: Machine guarding is the 9th most-often cited safety violation. This OSHA standard requires employers to protect workers from hazards created by machine operation. These hazards include the rotation of machine parts, sparks, and flying chips and shards.

8. Electrical Wiring Methods: The Electrical Wiring Methods standard calls for the proper grounding techniques, structure, and installation of electrical wiring. The standard also outlines the proper use of temporary ‘test’ wires, cable trays, and wiring location.

7. Ladders: Ladder use in instrumental in many occupations. Employers are required to make sure ladders can bear at least 4 times the intended amount of weight. Additionally, rungs and cleats must be level and equally spaced. The standard also requires that rungs be textured in a way to reduce slipping and increase grip.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks: The failure to meet the standards for industrial trucks (forklifts, tractors, platform lift trucks) is the 6th most-often cited violation. This standard requires the proper fire protection, maintenance, and design of industrial trucks. The standard also prohibits modification by employers without written approval from the manufacturer.

5. Lockout/Tagout: This standard covers the regulatory process of controlling stored energy during the maintenance of machinery with energy isolating devices. The goal of the standard is to protect workers from being injured by the sudden release of energy, or unexpected startup of the machine.

4. Respiratory Protection: The Respiratory Protection standard helps control diseases that are caused by exposure to certain fogs, mists, vapors, fumes, smokes, and sprays. The standard requires that employers provide respirators for employees when needed. The standard also requires that the employer form a written respiratory protection program.

3. Scaffolding: Falls account for a high percentage of workplace injuries. This standard requires that scaffolding hold at least 4 times the maximum intended weight. Additionally, the standard covers the proper assembly, stabilization, use and maintenance of scaffolding pieces, as well as their proximity to the point workers are intended to reach.

2. Hazard Communication: This standard requires employers to effectively communicate the hazards associated with workplace chemicals, as well as proper protection techniques. This includes ensuring labels are intact, employees are aware of the chemicals they are dealing with, and protective equipment is provided and explained.

1. Fall Protection: Finally, the top cited OSHA violation is the failure to meet fall protection standards. The standard requires employers to maintain walking and working surfaces to ensure the surface can support the weight required. Additionally, the standard sets regulations on the use of fall-protection equipment; such as safety harnesses or safety nets. The guidelines for the use of guardrails, fences, and other protective structures are also outlined in the standard.

All of the standards above can apply to a very wide variety of workplaces. Have you checked your workplace to ensure you comply with all of the standards? The top ten most cited violations are what they are because they can be easily overlooked or simply neglected. You do not want to find yourself on this list. Make safety a priority, and ensure that you have met the applicable standards in your workplace.

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