OSHA’s Top 10 Citation List Highlights Fall Protection, Hazcom Violations

Nov. 2, 2011
Every year at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo, NSC and OSHA partner to reveal OSHA's top 10 most commonly cited violations. While the specific violations may jockey for position from year to year, the list tends to feature the same players year in and year out. For FY 2011, fall protection, scaffolding and hazcom topped the list.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA's directorate of enforcement programs, released the list Nov. 1 on the NSC expo floor in Philadelphia. From fall protection, which garnered the highest number of violations in FY 2011, to machine guarding, these are the hazards and standards that employers may want to pay closer attention to:

1. Fall protection – 7,139 violations. "Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in construction," said Kapust.
2. Scaffolding – 7,069 violations. In 2010, Kapust said, 37 workers died from scaffolding-related incidents.
3. Hazard communication – 6,538 violations. "Employees have the right to know and identify hazards," Kapust pointed out.
4. Respiratory protection – 3,944 violations.
5. Lockout/tagout – 3,639 violations
6. Electrical – wiring methods – 3,584 violations
7. Powered industrial trucks – 3,432 violations
8. Ladders – 3,244 violations.
9. Electrical – general requirements – 2,863 violations. According to 2009 BLS data, 1,600 nonfatal injuries were attributed to electrical shock.
10. Machine guarding – 2,728 violations. Kapust pointed out that in 2010, 90 workers were killed in machinery. In 2009, 5,930 occupational amputations were reported.

Kapust also revealed the 10 most frequently cited willful violations:

1. Excavation
2. Fall protection
3. Process safety management
4. Grain handling facilities
5. Asbestos
6. Lockout/tagout
7. Machine guarding
8. Specific excavation requirements
9. General recording criteria
10. General duty clause

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