OSHA released its top 10 workplace safety violations of 2017 at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo in September. As predicted, the list remained consistent with previous years, though perhaps with a change as to the order of the violations on the list.
Here are their findings for 2017, in ascending order:
#1 – Fall Protection
As of September 2017, there had been 6,072 fall protection violations relating to the construction industry. Though this number has dropped somewhat from 6,092 violations last year, it still shows there’s plenty of room for improvement. Violations commonly include failing to guard open sides and edges to prevent falls.
#2 – Hazard Communication
Another violation moving in the right direction, there were 4,163 citations for 2017, compared to 5,665 last year. If you deal in dangerous chemicals, you are required to have a written hazard communication program, along with labeling all containers and providing safety data sheets and employee training.
#3 – Scaffolding
Decreasing its number of incidents from 3,900 in 2016 to 3,288, scaffolding still remains a threat for many companies. Scaffolding construction, surfaces, lack of guard rails, and employee access all contribute to these violations.
#4 – Respiratory Protection
Though the number of violations fell in this category compared to last year (3,097 vs 3,573), companies still experience respiratory protection issues. These incidents take the form of lacking a written respiratory protection program to failing to provide required medical exams for workers who use respirators.
#5 – Lockout/Tagout
These violations have dropped by over 500 from the previous year to 2,877 this year. Still, these hazards present some of the most dangerous ones for worksites. Many of the OSHA violations stem from failing to provide training or not conducting required inspections.
#6 – Ladders
A serious threat in the workplace, ladder-related accidents topped out at 2,241 citations so far this year. Still, that’s less than the 2,625 incidents from 2016.
#7 – Powered Industrial Trucks
Not training employees properly on forklift safety or failing to enforce proper forklift use accounted for many incidents regarding powered industrial trucks. Violations in 2016 were much higher than this year: 2,855 vs. 2,162.
#8 – Machine Guarding
The number of machine guarding incidents sunk lower this year over last year, reaching 1,933 total violations. These incidents mostly came from point-of-operation hazards.
#9 – Fall Protection Training Requirements
This one isn’t too surprising, considering that fall protection hazards topped the list for 2017. Total violations in this category reached 1,523. This is the only category from this year that didn’t make the list last year.
#10 – Electrical Wiring Methods
1,045 violations were attributed to faulty wiring methods this year. The good news is that this number is lower than last year’s by over 500 violations.
How You Can Prevent Adding to These Statistics for 2018
Did anything on this list surprise you?
It’s interesting that, even though most of these categories remain consistent through the years, companies still struggle with how they can combat these issues in their own workspaces.
It takes more than simply recognizing where hazards are most likely to occur. Once you determine where weakness lies, you need to plan a course of action to ensure these areas receive the right attention.
EHS software can help you manage your hazard-prone zones and other components of your program. As a result, you may be able to prevent contributing to OSHA’s list for the next year.
Given that all but one of the categories saw a decrease in workplace violations this year, it looks like we’re moving in the right direction. What are your plans to keep it this way?