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NSC 2012: Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s List of Most Cited Violations for 2012

Fall protection, hazard communication and scaffolding violations once again fought for the top spots in OSHA’s annual top 10 most frequently cited violations list. During an Oct. 23 presentation on the expo floor at NSC 2012 in Orlando, Fla., Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust outlined the agency’s 10 most frequently cited violations for fiscal year 2012.

Oct. 23, 2012

OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations are like a carousel – every year, the same offenders roll on by, only viewed in a slightly different order. For fiscal year 2012, fall protection violations once again topped the list, followed by hazard communication and scaffolding violations.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, revealed the top 10 list on the expo floor at the 2012 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo on Oct. 23. “The top 10 [list] doesn’t change much from year to year,” he acknowledged. “It stays relatively the same.”

This is the second consecutive year that fall protection violations have topped the list of most cited standards. To address the serious safety concerns surrounding falls from heights, OSHA and NIOSH recently partnered to launch a construction fall protection campaign to ensure workers receive the education, training and fall protection equipment they need to stay safe when working at height.

In this year’s No. 2 slot, hazard communication also remains a regular at the top of the list; it came in at No. 3 in both 2011 and 2010. OSHA’s recent revision of its hazcom standard to align it with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) means that in the near future, employers will need to comply with new requirements. While some of the GHS deadlines won’t crop up for a few months or years, Kapust recommended that “it’s always good to start coming into compliance” as soon as possible.

The full list of top 10 most cited violations for federal OSHA standards for both general industry and construction includes:

  1. Fall protection – 7,250 violations

  2. Hazard communication – 4,696 violations.

  3. Scaffolding – 3,814 violations

  4. Respiratory protection – 2,371 violations.

  5. Ladders – 2,310 violations

  6. Machine guarding – 2,097 violations

  7. Powered industrial trucks – 1,993 violations

  8. Electrical wiring – 1,744 violations

  9. Lockout/tagout – 1,572 violations

  10. Electrical (general) – 1,332 violations

NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher expressed appreciation to OSHA for sharing this top 10 list at NSC.

“While great progress has been made in safety over the past 100 years, today’s presentation reminds us there is more to be done to make our workplaces safer,” she stated.

The data presented at NSC is considered preliminary and in need of additional review.

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