In October 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed the top 10 most-cited violations for 2016 during the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Anaheim, California.
“Every year the OSHA Top 10 serves as a guide for employers to address the biggest safety risks facing their employees,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, told attendees. “We look forward to working with employers to reduce these incidents and ensure every workplace is on a journey to safety excellence.”
Fall protection once again topped the list with almost 7,000 separate citations. Hazard communication followed with 5,677 citations. Scaffolding was the subject of nearly 4,000 violations. However, this represents a marked improvement over last year, during which OSHA inspectors doled out 4,681 scaffolding citations, according to the NSC.
Respiratory protection held the fourth spot with 3,585 citations. Lockout-tagout rounded out the top five with 3,414 citations. One week prior to releasing the OSHA Top 10, the agency issued perhaps its most impactful lockout-tagout citations of the year. On October 7, OSHA inspectors cited a Goodyear plant in Danville, Virginia for 122 separate violations, two of which pertained to faulty lockout-tagout procedures that resulted in three deaths, a local NBC affiliate reported. The tire company is now being fined for more than $1 million.
Powered industrial trucks held the sixth spot with 2,860 citations. Ladders and machine guarding followed with 2,639 and 2,452 citations, respectively. Electrical wiring garnered 1,940 citations, over 400 fewer than last year. General electrical requirements maintained the 10th position with 1,704 citations. This category also experienced a significant drop compared to last year, during which inspectors issued 2,181 citations for unsatisfactory electrical safety.
In 2015, OSHA handed out approximately 65,044 total citations, marking six consecutive years of reduced violation rates. The agency hopes to continue that momentum through the end of 2016 into 2017.
Injury data collection efforts continue
In addition to helping American companies better prevent workplace injuries, OSHA has also stepped up its efforts in the area of recordkeeping. It issued a final ruling to modernize injury data collection efforts in high-risk industries. The new rule requires businesses in these sectors to report workplace injury and illness data to OSHA electronically. The information is then posted on the agency’s website for public consumption.
“Since high injury rates are a sign of poor management, no employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace,” Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said in a news release. “Our new reporting requirements will ‘nudge’ employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities.”
Businesses are expected to start data submissions in early 2017.