Act First Safety

OHSA’S Top 10 Most Cited Violations

According to the National Safety Council (NSC) in the United States, the most common safety violations change little year over year. That means that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done by those in the safety profession and within corporations. It is recommended that after reviewing the list, consider your own workplace—would you be found in violation?

Would you be found in violation?

Maintaining a bad rap may come as no surprise when fall protection leads as the top ten safety violations for an incredible sixth year in a row. Definitely not something to be proud about. I think that most would agree that we would have a similar ranking in Canada. At Act First Safety, we receive a lot of calls on hazard communication, respiratory protection and lockout/tagout which are reported in the top five violations in the United States. We can also include ladder safety, lift trucks, elevating work platforms, suspended work platform systems (swing stage) and working at heights rounding out the most common inquiries and are relative to the top ten safety violations.

Most-cited violations, 2016
1. Fall Protection
2. Hazard Communication
3. Scaffolding
4. Respiratory Protection
5. Lockout/Tagout
6. Powered Industrial Trucks (Lift Trucks)
7. Ladders
8. Machine Guarding
9. Electrical Wiring Methods
10. Electrical – General Requirements (design)

Fall Protection Training

The NSC notes that a “serious” violation is defined as ‘one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer know or should have known of the hazard.” The top 10 safety violations would be considered “serious” violations in this context. However, in addition to the violations listed on the top 10 list, the lack of fall protection training was also cited as a “serious” violation by the agency.

Top 10 “willful” violations

The NSC identified the top 10 “willful” violations as follows:
1. Fall Protection
2. Lockout/Tagout
3. Lead
4. Excavations
5. Mechanical Power Presses
6. Scaffolding
7. Machine Guarding
8. Specific Excavation Requirements
9. General Duty Clause
10. Grain Handling, Welding, Cutting and Heating

OSHA defines a “willful” violation as one “committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.
In conclusion, we should continue to identify the areas of most concern in our workplaces. We just need to work harder at eliminating them.

Lauren McFarlane,
President, Act First Safety

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