Still Led by Falls, OSHA Citations Soar
Federal health and safety officials are dishing out thousands more citations to employers this year for worksite hazards, but the causes remain stubbornly the same as last year.
Fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding and respiratory protection violations lead the new Top 10 list of most-cited workplace safety violations for FY 2013, according to a new ranking by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The same categories, in the same order, led the 2012 list. What has changed, however, is the increased number of citations.
The number of violations issued this year in each of the Top 10 categories increased significantly over last year, according to preliminary data released Tuesday (Oct. 1) at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Chicago.
The other six categories in the Top 10 remained the same as last year, although individual positions shifted somewhat.
The preliminary figures for FY 2013, and their comparable numbers at this time last year, according to the National Safety Council, are:
|1.||1926.501 – Fall Protection||8,241||7,250 (1)|
|2.||1910.1200 – Hazard Communication||6,156||4,696 (2)|
|3.||1926.451 – Scaffolding||5,423||3,814 (3)|
|4.||1910.134 – Respiratory Protection||3,879||2,371 (4)|
|5.||1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods||3,452||1,744 (8)|
|6.||1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks||3,340||1.993 (7)|
|7.||1926.1053 – Ladders||3,311||2,310 (5)|
|8.||1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout||3,254||1,572 (9)|
|9.||1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements||2,745||1,332 (10)|
|10.||1910.212 – Machine Guarding||2,701||2,097 (6)|
The data were collected on Sept. 13.
Falls and Their Toll
Both scaffolding and ladder citations significantly increased over last year, with the three fall-related categories accounting for a total of 16,975 violations this fiscal year—3,601 more violations in those combined categories than in FY 2012.
The Campaign to Prevent Falls, a government-labor-management partnership, was launched in 2012.
Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths, and they are the leading cause of worker deaths in construction and related industries. More than 10,000 construction workers are seriously injured each year in falls, and more than one-third of construction deaths involve falls, according to CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training.
Indeed, the new violations list dovetails with the human toll recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—a report that shows a five-year high in deaths among roofers and construction laborers, even as other workplace deaths decline.
OSHA has greatly expanded its fall-protection outreach and resources for employers and employees in recent years. The agency's Fall Protection Safety and Health Topic site offers detailed print and video guidance and standards for a wide variety of fall hazards, including specific resources aimed at roof falls, aerial lift safety, bridge decking and leading edge work.
More resources are available through OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign site, and through the Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, a joint initiative launched in April 2012 by OSHA, CPWR and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
'Learn from the Past'
"We appreciate our colleagues at OSHA sharing their most recent data as we look toward Leading Safety into the Future," said National Safety Council President and CEO Janet Froetscher.
|Oklahoma State University|
A growing number of hazard communication violations kept that category at No. 2 on OSHA's Top 10 list of workplace violations in FY 2013.
"Today's presentation reminds us that it's very important to learn from the past and address these top violations to help make our workplaces safer."
The Council will publish a full report on the Top 10 violations for 2013 in the December edition of Safety+Health magazine.