Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s List of Top 10 Violations

The most common workplace danger cited by investigators from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration last year was the failure to provide adequate protection against worker falls.

It was the seventh consecutive year that fall protection led the federal safety agency’s list of most common citations, which was presented last month at the 2017 National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo, which was held in Indianapolis.

The Most Common Citation by Far

With 6,072 citations for failure to prevent workers falls during 2016, the violation was the most commonly cited problem by OSHA by far. The next most common violation — failure to properly issue hazard communications — resulted in only 4,176 violations.

While fall protection/general requirements topped the list, failure to provide proper training to prevent falls came in ninth on the Top 10 list.

The top five violations on this year’s list were exactly the same as last year’s. In fact, 9 out of 10 violations on this year’s list were the same as the previous year. The only newcomer to make the list was fall protection/training requirements, which was a newcomer to the list of top violations.

Using the List to Protect Workplaces

The purpose of the annual list is to inform businesses of the most common violations so that they can take steps to prevent them in their workplaces. The list should serve as a guide to businesses seeking to improve workplace safety, according to Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

“The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list,” Hersman said in a news release. “It’s a blueprint for keeping workers safe. When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.

The Full Top 10 List of OSHA Violations

Here is the full list of the top 10 violations cited by OSHA last year:

1. Fall protection, general requirements (6,072 citations issued)

2. Hazard communications (4,176 citations issued)

3. Scaffolding (3,288 citations issued)

4. Respiratory protection (3,097 citations issued)

5. Lockout/Tagout (2,877 citations issued)

6. Ladders (2,241 citations issued)

7. Powered industrial trucks (2,162 citations issued)

8. Machine guarding (1,933 citations issued)

9. Fall protection, training requirements (1,523 citations issued)

10. Electrical, wiring methods (1,405 citations issued)

The preliminary version of the list was released by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of enforcement programs for OSHA, at the NSC’s annual congress and expo, which was held September 23 through 29th at the Indianapolis convention center.

The final version of OSHA’s Top 10 violations will be published in December, according to the agency.