OSHA's Top 10 Citations from 2018 & How to Avoid Them in 2019

OSHA's Top 10 Citations from 2018 & How to Avoid Them in 2019

Striving to run a company free of workplace accidents and hazards means being fully aware of the dangers that can occur when safety is not the top priority. A useful guide, to see what is probably making unseen or unnoticed safety issues in your workspace, is reviewing what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the most in the last year. By knowing what has happened in the past, you can make conscious efforts to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited safety violations in 2018 were:

  1. Fall protection in construction sectors: 2018 saw an increase over 2017 in the number of fall protection general requirements not met at construction sites. Take extra precautions to ensure all of your workers are provided fall protection as needed.
  2. Hazardous communication standards: Each worker has a right to know about potentially dangerous chemical substances in their workspace, such as strong cleaners and solvents. More workplaces in 2018 than 2017 failed to warn their employees about hazardous substances through notices, warnings, MSDS packets, etc. Double check breakrooms and storage rooms for information about hazardous materials onsite.
  3. Scaffolding: Consistently across the years, incorrectly constructed and maintained scaffolding proves to be a significant workplace hazard. Never allow your employees to climb rickety or unstable scaffolding.
  4. Respiratory protection: More than 3,110 OSHA citations were written in the 2018 fiscal year for respiratory protection violations. Employees working in environments with chemical substances, smoke, vapor, or airborne particulates must be provided appropriate respiratory gear.
  5. Lockout/tagout: Whenever heavy machinery or electrical equipment is to be repaired or maintained, a specific lockout/tagout procedure must be followed to the letter to prevent the equipment from turning on or moving during service. Start with a close review of the OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout, 29 CFR 1910.147) to see if your compliance program, implementation processes and training meets or exceeds the standard.
  6. Ladders: The misuse of ladders was cited more than 2,800 times by OSHA inspectors in 2018. Ladder misuse can include either using a ladder incorrectly, or using the wrong ladder for the job, such as a ladder with the wrong weight rating. If you haven’t in a while, now is a good time to review the OSHA standard and also to checkout Stairways and Ladders - A Guide to OSHA Rules, OSHA Publication 3124-12R 2003.
  7. Powered industrial trucks: Proper training of forklift and industrial truck operators, as well as the proper maintenance of such vehicles, greatly reduces the chance of a powered industrial truck accident. Such accidents were cited the seventh most often by OSHA inspectors in 2018.
  8. Fall protection training requirements: In relation to the #1 OSHA violation cited in 2018, inspectors found an increase of fall protection training requirement violations. Predictably, workers not trained properly in how to use fall protection and avoid falls are more likely to suffer from a fall-related accident. Be sure to look at the correct OSHA standard as there is one for construction and one for general industry. Also, did you know that OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance?
  9. Machine guarding: Industrial equipment and machines require guards to prevent fingers, hands, hair, etc. from getting caught in the inner workings during regular use. OSHA saw an increase in machine guarding violations — such as missing, loose, or damaged guards — in 2018 over 2017.
  10. Eye and face protection: New to OSHA’s top 10 citation list, eye and face protection violations landed in the 10th spot for 2018. Provide all workers with face and eye protection as needed, such as whenever using industrial equipment.

(You can learn more about OSHA’s top 10 citations of 2018 by clicking here and visiting the Administration’s official website.)

Are you worried that your industrial company might not be meeting all of OSHA’s many standards and regulations? Before you get slammed with an OSHA citation or, worse, one of your workers gets seriously injured in an accident, call (888) 293-0619 to connect with RPF Environmental. Our Certified Industrial Hygienists and our Certified Safety Professionals have more than 25 years of experience helping companies all across New England make and maintain safe workspaces. Learn more about us and our OSHA compliance services by filling out an online contact form today.

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