OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations are like a carousel – every year, the same offenders roll on by, only viewed in a slightly different order. For fiscal year 2012, fall protection violations once again topped the list, followed by hazard communication and scaffolding violations.
Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, revealed the top 10 list on the expo floor at the 2012 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo on Oct. 23. “The top 10 [list] doesn’t change much from year to year,” he acknowledged. “It stays relatively the same.”
This is the second consecutive year that fall protection violations have topped the list of most cited standards. To address the serious safety concerns surrounding falls from heights, OSHA and NIOSH recently partnered to launch a construction fall protection campaign to ensure workers receive the education, training and fall protection equipment they need to stay safe when working at height.
In this year’s No. 2 slot, hazard communication also remains a regular at the top of the list; it came in at No. 3 in both 2011 and 2010. OSHA’s recent revision of its hazcom standard to align it with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) means that in the near future, employers will need to comply with new requirements. While some of the GHS deadlines won’t crop up for a few months or years, Kapust recommended that “it’s always good to start coming into compliance” as soon as possible.
The full list of top 10 most cited violations for federal OSHA standards for both general industry and construction includes:
- Fall protection – 7,250 violations
- Hazard communication – 4,696 violations.
- Scaffolding – 3,814 violations
- Respiratory protection – 2,371 violations.
- Ladders – 2,310 violations
- Machine guarding – 2,097 violations
- Powered industrial trucks – 1,993 violations
- Electrical wiring – 1,744 violations
- Lockout/tagout – 1,572 violations
- Electrical (general) – 1,332 violations
NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher expressed appreciation to OSHA for sharing this top 10 list at NSC.
“While great progress has been made in safety over the past 100 years, today’s presentation reminds us there is more to be done to make our workplaces safer,” she stated.
The data presented at NSC is considered preliminary and in need of additional review.