Our friends at OSHA released their top ten list of 2016’s most common OSHA violations. This list has changed very little in the last ten years, which shows how important it is to understand OSHA compliance and how to prevent these violations for your business before they become a problem.
Same Story, Different Year
Unfortunately, some employers just don’t seem to get it.
Those employers who do seem to get it, though, stay ahead of the curve by instituting a culture of safety in their business. They take the time and put in the effort to ensure that a safety mindset permeates their whole employee group—from the top down. Doing the job the safely while adhering to all of the applicable safety rules and regulations becomes the norm.
This top ten list of common OSHA violations contains some standards that would apply to almost all employers—regardless of the type of business they are in. However, the majority of violations of these ten standards seem (as always) to be centered on the construction and manufacturing sectors.
According to statistics cited in that same list of common OSHA violations, more than 4,500 workers were killed on the job last year. Approximately 3 million were injured in some way while at work. As a governmental agency, OSHA conducted more than 32,000 inspections of American businesses. A large number of OSHA inspections resulted in the business being cited for violations of OSHA safety and health standards.
Most Common OSHA Violations in 2016
Here’s the list of the most violated OSHA standards in 2016, with links to OSHA’s resources about them:
- Fall Protection.
- Hazard Communication.
- Respiratory protection.
- Powered Industrial Trucks.
- Machine guarding.
- Electrical wiring.
- General electrical requirements.
Preventing Future OSHA Violations
All of the above listed standards have a training component that requires employers to do documented training of all exposed employees covering the rules of the standard. A large number of the citations issued to employers in 2016 happened because the employers either failed to do the required training, or failed to document that the training that was done.
In the eyes of OSHA, if it isn’t in writing, then it didn’t happen.
OSHA urges companies to seek assistance from professionals who can audit their operation and help correct any hazards or violations they find, therefore decreasing the likelihood of citations being issued down the road. According to OSHA:
“It is your responsibility to know what items or processes that helps you make sure that you know what you need to keep your workers safe. For help in getting started with these processes, you can call on your state on-site Consultation Program and have an experienced health and safety professional visit your workplace for free and confidentially.”
Safety professionals also create and implement any necessary employee training programs, as required by OSHA standards. You can find information about your local on-site consultant through OSHA’s Consultation Directory.
Employers Resource is a Professional Employer Organization. Employer’s Resources offers vital business services, such as payroll and workers’ compensation insurance. However, we also go far beyond that, especially when it comes to helping our clients with OSHA compliance and workplace safety. We achieve this through our team of regional safety managers that work directly with each client in order to help employers provide a safe workplace for employees.
The safety team also develops and implements safety programs specifically designed to keep our clients in compliance with regulations, and avoid these common OSHA violations.