OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations for 2012

It was mentioned previously in our podcast that at the NSC (National Safety Council) Congress and Expo in Orlando this past October, Deputy Director of the OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, presented the top 10 violations of the administration’s safety rules for fiscal year 2012.  

While it’s easy at first glance to look at the list and get discouraged thinking workplace safety has a long way to go, Kapust commented in an interview with Safety+Health that “data found in the Top 10 list is not meant to gauge how well OSHA is performing or how safe businesses in the country are. This list is at its best when used by employers as a tool to improve safety at their worksites. An employer who may be interested in what are the possible hazards in their workplace could look at the [Top 10] list and see if they’re covering all hazards and assessing the kind of changes they may have to make to their safety and health program.”

So take a look at the list – you might just find some areas for improvement!

OSHA Top 10 List:

  1. Fall Protection in construction (1926.501) 7,250 violations
    Frequently violated requirements included failure to protect open sides and edges, failure to prevent falls from roofs, and failure to cover holes.
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) 4,696 violations
    Commonly violated requirements included failure to have a written program, inadequate employee education and training, improper or no labels on containers, and no MSDS (SDS) or lack of access to them.
  3. Scaffolding in construction (1926.451) 3,814 violations
    Violations included problems with scaffold construction, improper access to scaffolding surfaces, and lack of guardrails.
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) 2,371 violations
    Frequent violations were no written respiratory protection program, poor fit test procedures, unsuitable respirator selection process, and lack of procedures for voluntary use of respirators.
  5. Ladders in construction (1926.1053) 2,310 violations
    Violations included damaged side rails, use of the top ladder step, inappropriate ladder for the job, and excessive loads on ladders.
  6. Machine Guarding (1910.212) 2,097 violations
    Violations included point of operation exposures, inadequate or no anchoring of fixed machinery, and exposure to blades.
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) 1,993 violations
    Common violations were inadequate operator training and refresher training, and poor conditions of PITs when returned to service after repair.
  8. Electrical-wiring methods ( 1910.305) 1,744 violations
    Violations included problems with flexible cords and cables, boxes and temporary wiring, poor use of extension cords, and using temporary wiring as permanent wiring.
  9. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) 1,572 violations
    Frequent violations were poor or no energy control procedures, inadequate worker training, and inspections not completed.
  10. Electrical-general requirements (1910.303) 1,332 violations
    Common violations were related to electric shock and electrocution exposures.


For more information on the sections cited and for a comparison to the 2011 violations, check out Safety+Health’s infographic on the results.

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