OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations for 2017

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Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers outline OSHA’s top 10 safety violations for 2017. Every year, safety consultants from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identify the 10 most cited workplace safety violations. The same violations tend to make the list year after year, which suggests that employers should conduct audits of their training protocols, to ensure that employees are receiving the right training for the specific job.

In addition, once the employees have been properly trained, it is critical that they are in compliance with the safety protocols. Failing to do so can result in severe, often fatal injuries, particularly in industries that tend to be more hazardous.

The Top Ten

The following are the top 10 most frequently cited safety violations for 2017:

  • Fall Protection: In the construction industry, there were 6,072 fall protection violations in 2017, which included failing to guard edges and open sides to help prevent falls.
  • Hazard Communication: When working with hazardous chemicals, employers must have a written hazard communication program, and ensure that all containers are properly labelled. There were 4,176 hazard communication citations in 2017. All employee must be trained and provided with safety data sheets, to help avoid occupational exposure.
  • Scaffolding: Scaffolding safety violations included issues with construction, access to scaffolding surfaces, and a lack of guardrails. There were 3,200 violations in 2017.
  • Respiratory Protection: Common violations included a lack of written respiratory-protection programs, as well as a failure to conduct mandatory medical examinations for workers who use respirators.
  • Lockout/Tagout: Performing the appropriate lockout/tagout procedures is critical to protecting the safety of employees who work with large, heavy machinery. Most of the 2,877 violations were from failing to train employees or conduct regular inspections.
  • Ladders: The 2,241 violations in 2017 were due to improper use of ladders.
  • Powered Industrial Trucks: In 2017, there were 2,162 safety violations from a lack of training and improper forklift use. Forklift drivers must be certified and reevaluated every three years.
  • Machine Guarding: The 1,933 total violations were largely due to point-of-operation hazards. Machine guarding protects workers from the dangers of ingoing nip points, rotating parts, and sparks.
  • Fall Protection Training Requirements: A new addition to the top 10, with 1,523 violations in this category.
  • Electrical Wiring Methods: The 1,405 violations were due to faulty electrical wiring and improper use of extension cords.

Curbing Violations

In order to avoid being cited for safety violations, employers can take the following steps to ensure a safe work environment:

  • Hold weekly safety meetings where employers review the relevant OSHA standards. Focus on one safety topic each week and discuss it with employees.
  • Create a list of safety rules and make sure that all employees are following the rules.
  • Review the OSHA 300 logs and determine the cause of the incident and how to prevent future risks.
  • Conduct an investigation into near misses, so that an accident that could have resulted in serious injuries does not happen in the future.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Safety Violations

If a safety violation at work has caused you to become seriously injured, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will review you case and guide you through every step of the claims process. Our dedicated team will ensure that you receive the full benefits that you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.