The Top Ten OSHA Safety and Health Violations for 2016
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list every year of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.
According to OSHA, more than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. The top 10 violations include:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machine guarding
- Electrical wiring
- Electrical, general requirements
According to OSHA falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, as reflected by the top 10 list which includes fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues.
Many workers are also killed or seriously injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. The top 10 list reflects this with lockout/tag out and machine guarding violations in the top 10. Proper lockout/tag out procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. Installing proper guards keeps hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.
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.
The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial truck safety, demonstrate that many employers in the freight and warehousing industries are not properly training their employees to safely drive and operate these kinds of equipment.
If employees believe their employer is not following OSHA regulations and creating a hazardous working environment the employee may want to address the matter with their Union if they are represented. If they are not represented, the employee can file a complaint with OSHA directly. There are anti-retaliation protections located in the act which prohibit the employer from retaliating against and employee who reports a violation. (insert link).
If you have been injured by unsafe equipment and believe that your right to work in a safe working environment have been compromised, you may want to speak with an experienced employment attorney who can advise you of your options