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Each year, in October, OSHA releases a preliminary list of the (10) most frequently cited safety violations for the fiscal year. The list is compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff. A remarkable thing about this list is that it very rarely changes. Year after year. The same (10) citations are part of the list. Employers must start paying closer attention to these issues.
Over 4,500 workers are killed each year and another approximately 3 million are injured according to Department of Labor statistics. If employers would concentrate on improving just the top ten violations, it seems reasonable to assume that deaths, amputations, and injuries would surely decrease. Let the following list be your start to workplace safety.
It really isn’t surprising falls are a leading cause of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and the list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold issues. The Department of Labor/OSHA has an ongoing campaign to inform employees and workers about the measures which should be taken to eliminate this issue from the list. Employers must take these measures seriously.
OSHA sees far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired or while hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machinery is powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on it. Installing machine guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving parts prevents amputations or worse.
The website also states that respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica, or a host of other toxic substances. However, the list proves that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.
The high number of deaths associated with forklifts and the high number of violations for powered industrial truck safety indicates that far too many workers are not being properly trained to safely operate these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment.
Rounding out the top ten violations are those relating to electrical safety. This is an area where dangers are well-known.
The Department of Labor says their list is far from comprehensive. OSHA regulations cover a broad range of hazards which imperil worker health and safety and they urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work. Doing so has proven to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.
Safeway Industrial can offer valuable information on implementing health and safety programs at your company. If you have questions regarding this issue, please give us a call at 256-492-3704.