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Most Frequent OSHA Worksite Violations

Steve Wagner

As we begin a new year, we want to highlight the most frequently cited work-violations. We hope to raise awareness for these issues, and help to avoid work injuries and deaths in the coming year. Will you help us by spreading the word, and making sure your employer is adhering to all OSHA standards and maintaining a safe work environment for all employees?

Each year, OSHA cites workplaces across the United States, but the most frequent citations they encounter are as follows:

10. Machine Guarding: This involves having proper guards in place for machinery that might throw objects, including rotating parts, flying chips, sparks, and more.

9. Electrical: OSHA states that all electrical equipment needs to be free from recognizable hazards that might cause injury, including wire-bending, connection space, inadequate insulation, and more.

8. Lockout/Tagout: This citation usually involves equipment or machinery that requires a minimum performance to control hazardous energy.

7. Ladders: OSHA cites ladders that are inadequate and don’t offer the safety or support they need for workers to properly do their jobs. There are different requirements for fixed and portable ladders.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks: There are safety requirements in place relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, use of fork-trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and all types of specialized industrial vehicles.

5. Electrical/Wiring Methods: These requirements involve safe and effective bonding practices for any type of electrical conductor, in order to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current that might occur.

4. Respiratory Protection: Wherever hazardous materials are involved, including harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, preventing atmospheric contamination is of utmost importance. There are control measures that can be taken in most situations, and when not available, respirators should be given to workers.

3. Scaffolding: Scaffolding systems must be directly connected to roofs and floors, and also make use of counterweights to balance suspension scaffolds. They must be able to resist at least 4 times the tipping movement imposed by the operator.

2. Hazard Communication: This citation usually involves chemicals and other materials that are not properly labelled. OSHA wants to ensure that information regarding classified hazards is transmitted through the proper channels, and employees handling these materials are aware of the hazards and risks, and have the proper tools to handle situations appropriately.

1. Fall Protection: This citation is usually made for walking and working surfaces that do not have adequate strength or structural integrity to support the works using them. Employees should only be allowed to work on a surface when it is tested and proven to have the strength to avoid collapse when under the weight of workers.

If you feel your employer may be in violation of any of these standards, you can call OSHA to investigate and help protect you and your co-workers. Contact OSHA about your employer, and do so safely, without the risk of losing your job.

If you have been injured on the job, give the work injury lawyers of Wagner Reese a call to schedule your free consultation.

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