Each year OSHA releases their top ten list — the most frequently cited violations of OSHA standards across all industries. Complying with OSHA standards helps you keep workers safe and avoid costly fines.
OSHA reports falling as the most common cause of work related injuries and deaths.Learn More »
Everyone has the right to a safe workplace. Failure to provide proper fall protection tops OSHA's list of compliance violations. Keeping employees safe and healthy helps your business thrive, and avoids costly OSHA violations. Following OSHA recommendations for fall protection will minimize the risk of injury and keep your business compliant.
To help protect staff from falls and injuries OSHA requires employers to:
There are simple things you can do to keep your facility safe:
Consult OSHA directly for more detailed information
Minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace.Learn More »
Hazard Communication or HazCom violations are the second most common OSHA violation. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard aims to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
The Hazard Communication Standard requires "the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers."
OSHA states that:
"All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately."
As of 2013, The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This change provides employees the right to know and understand about the hazardous chemicals in the workplace and how to protect themselves. It also creates new label elements, pictograms, and standardizes Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with a 16-section format.
As of June 1, 2015, all labels will be required to have pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier, and supplier identification. Learn More
Avoid HazCom violations and the fines with these tips:
Minimize injuries and deaths caused by scaffolding accidents.Learn More »
The use of scaffolding on a property increases employee risk of injury. OSHA regulations regarding scaffolding are set in place to minimize injuries and deaths caused by scaffolding accidents. The most common scaffolding accidents include:
Complying with OSHA standards will control these types of accidents and help keep workers safe. Common scaffolding violations have to do with improper construction of the scaffolding. Avoid fines and improve scaffold safety by ensuring:
Protect workers from environments with possible respiratory hazards.Learn More »
OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard is the fourth most common compliance violation. The purpose of this standard aligns with OSHA's overall mission to provide workers with a safe working environment. Respirators can protect workers against environments where there may be:
Working and breathing in these conditions may cause cancer, lung damage, or other diseases.
"A respirator shall be provided to each employee when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of such employee. The employer shall provide the respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended. The employer shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a respiratory protection program..."
Comply with OSHA's Standard by establishing a written respiratory protection program:
OSHA requires employers have the right kind of respirators available. Choosing a disposable respirator, full-face, or half-mask depends on the environment and the type of airborne contaminant. According to OSHA, "assessment should be done by experienced safety personnel or by an industrial hygienist"; consult OSHA directly for more information.
Keep employees safe while working with and around forklifts.Learn More »
Many industries use powered industrial trucks, or forklifts, to move large loads, pallets, or crates. OSHA violations involving powered industrial trucks are the fifth most common citation. OSHA's standard is designed to keep employees safe while working with and around forklifts. It requires forklift operators be over the age of 18, and all forklift operators must go through proper training and licensing. In addition, they are subject to performance evaluations and refresher training.
The work environment must be clear of hazards. When using forklifts:
Protect workers from injury and death by following OSHA's safety standards for forklifts.
Protect workers who service and maintain powered equipment and machines.Learn More »
OSHA's standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy, more commonly known as Lockout/Tagout is designed to protect workers who service and maintain powered equipment and machines. Each year workers are injured and killed because lockout/tagout procedures were not followed prior to working on machines.
Machines or equipment power by electricity, hydraulics, pneumatics, or other energy sources, have been known to restart unexpectedly or release stored energy during maintenance, endangering and harming workers. It is vital machines are stopped, disconnected from power, and the energy is controlled before service. This protects employees from electrocution, burns, cuts, crushing, fractures, and death.
Violating OSHA's standard can result in danger for employees and costly fines to your business. Complying with Lockout/Tagout is fairly easy since OSHA allows businesses "flexibility to develop an energy control program suited to the needs of the particular workplace and the types of machines and equipment being maintained or serviced."
Prepare for Lockout/Tagout:
For complete information on the Lockout/Tagout requirements, consult OSHA directly.
OSHA's standards regarding ladders are designed to protect workers and promote a safer workplace.Learn More »
Misuse of ladders in the workplace is seventh on the top ten list of OSHA violations. This commonly used maintenance tool is often a source of injury and death each year. OSHA's standards regarding ladders are designed to protect workers and promote a safer workplace.
Employees should be trained on ladder safety so they can easily recognize and eliminate hazards.
Common mistakes workers make when using ladders include:
Protect employees who work directly with electricity.Learn More »
The eighth most common OSHA violation involves electrical wiring. OSHA aims to protect employees who work directly with electricity, like electricians, engineers, and maintenance technicians. They also recognize the fact that office workers, sales people, and clerical staff, who work indirectly with electricity, may also risk electrical danger.
OSHA's standard regarding electrical wiring aims to keep workers safe from electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions. OSHA's states:
"Electrical equipment shall be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees."
OSHA violations regarding electrical wiring most often involve:
Employees who use machines with moving parts, including power tools and hand tools, are at risk for serious injuries.Learn More »
As the ninth most violated OSHA standard, machinery and machine guarding can be easily handled with the right equipment and safety standards.
OSHA's standard relating to machine guarding "is to protect the machine operator and other employees in the work area from hazards created by ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks."
Keep employees safe by guarding any moving parts, sharp edges, and hot surfaces. Also use markers and signage to notify fellow employees when and where machines and power tools are used.
Train employees on proper use and handling of machines and tools to help reduce risk. Keep well stocked first aid kits on hand in case of accidents.
To learn more, consult OSHA directly and make sure your business stays compliant and keeps workers as safe as possible.
Protect employees who work directly with electricity.Learn More »
The tenth most common OSHA violation has to do with general electrical systems including "mechanical strength and durability." OSHA more often finds violations related to electrical wiring, but this standard does make the top ten list.
Employees who work directly with electricity are at risk for electrocution, burns, injury, and death. Therefore, OSHA aims to keep workers safe requiring that workers are properly protected. Provide protective gloves and insulated tools for employees working on electrical systems.
Common violations involve:
These are only some of the issues OSHA addresses regarding electrical systems. Consult OSHA directly to for a complete list of their safety standards and requirements.
NOTE: This information is a summary interpretation and was prepared as general reference material only. This summary is not authoritative as laws can be amended over time. For specific compliance requirements and updates, please refer to the actual code language and the statute or legal counsel.