OSHA inspections: Top 10 Safety Violations

OSHA inspection. Those two words can put a scare into a business. And when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finds problems, there can be major ramifications.

For all firms, OSHA’s annual release of the top 10 safety violations is a good reminder of what the administration is looking to stop -- and a reminder of the importance of compliance.

What follows is OSHA's most recent list of the top 10 frequently cited safety standard violations for Fiscal Year 2015, which spanned October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015:

1. Fall Protection Systems. Covers the requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems such as walking surfaces, unprotected sides and edges, holes, ramps and runways, etc.

2. Hazard Communication. This deals with the communication of chemical hazards to employees and to the public.

3. Scaffolding. Violations here can range from design to support ability, which generally must be "its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it," per federal guidelines.

4. Respiratory Protection. The regulations cover the mechanisms and methods to prevent respiratory diseases caused by various industrial pollutants.

5. Lockout / Tagout. According to OSHA data, close to 10 percent of accidents in some industries are related to lockout or tagout, which are terms for the accidental release of industrial energy, such as machinery unexpectedly starting up when repairs are being conducted.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks. These violations cover the safety of trucks with electric motors or internal combustion engines.

7. Ladders. The regulations cover matters from locks (standard on metal ladders) to paint (wood ladders cannot be covered in opaque finish).

8. Electrical, Wiring Methods. Some of the regulations here date back more than 100 years.

9. Machine Guarding. A saw with inadequate protection from blades could be in violation under this section.

10. Electrical, General Requirements. Covers the working conditions and regulations regarding working with electricity.

The Plexus Groupe’s property & casualty experts can keep you abreast of safety and risk management best practices. For more information, contact us at 847-307-6100 and ask to speak to a client executive.