It is the end of October. This is the signal for many exciting things. First, autumn is well under way; no more temperatures in the high 90’s. Second, pumpkin spice everything is available. My personal favorite though is plain old pumpkin pie. Finally, OSHA publishes their list of top ten most-cited standards for the previous fiscal year. This is always announced at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo. The timing fits with OSHA’s fiscal year that runs from October 1 through September 30. So, without further delay….
Most-Cited OSHA Standards for Fiscal Year 2018
- Fall Protection – General Requirements: Standard 1926.501 with 7,720 violations
- Hazard Communications: Standard 1910.1200 with 4,552 violations
- Scaffolds/Scaffolding: Standard 1926.451 with 3,336 violations
- Respiratory Protection: Standard 1910.134 with 3,118 violations
- Lockout/Tagout: Standard 1910.147 with 2,944 violations
- Ladders: Standard 1926.1053 with 2,812 violations
- Powered Industrial Trucks: Standard 1910.178 with 2,294 violations
- Fall Protection: Training requirements: Standard 1926.503 with 1,982 violations
- Machine Guarding: Standard 1910.212 with 1,972 violations
- Personal Protective Equipment and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection: Standard 1926.102 with 1,536 violations
Here are some things I notice about this year’s list. First of all, the top five are the exact same ones and in the exact same order as last year, and all the way back to fiscal year 2014. The next four on the list are the same as well. The only difference is the order of them going back through the last five fiscal years. The only new entry on the list from recent lists is number 10 for personal protective equipment, or PPE. This is surprising to me. Every site I’ve visited for training and/or audits in the past year all have posted signs and warnings around what PPE is needed in any given area.
To put things into perspective, look at the numbers of violations beside each one. Take those numbers and translate them to a worker injury or death. If that isn’t enough perspective for you, these numbers also translate into millions of dollars of cost to companies in the form of fines, time los,t and worker’s compensation.
As I say every year, every single item on the list is EASILY PREVENTABLE. With good company policy, training, and commitment to safety those numbers should be and can be almost zero. OSHA’s website (https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/) has an entire section dedicated to the “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs”. These practices were developed around the seven core elements of an effective safety and health program. They were recently updated to include changes in workplaces and the economy. From this site a company can find ways to start developing a program or to improving the one they already have. Even if your company is small, there are things you can do. OSHA even has a group of people known as Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS) who will come to your site to help. Check out all of what they can do at https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/cas.html.
Take the time to review your company’s current safety programs. See if there are areas that can be improved and make an effort to do those improvements. Call ICC Compliance Center today to see how we can help. We can create custom signage, labels, and tags for you. What better way to draw attention to things than with a change and update to the existing information. We can also review your OSHA labels as well as SDS documents. We can do all signs, labels, tags, and SDS work in multiple languages.
Until next year where I’m hoping for a different list of top ten or at least a major decrease in violations, be safe out there.