Each year since 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) reports the most common violations committed by workers, contractors,
site workers, and many other involved in the
construction industry. The most recent list covers data gathered from October 2017
through the end of September 2018.
Unfortunately, many avoidable injuries and illnesses occur quite frequently
in the workplace. The federal agency publishes this list to inform employers
about the commonly cited procedures in order to do their part in recognizing
and corrected hazards addressed on this list before OSHA inspects their worksite.
The following are the top 10 most frequently cited standards according to OSHA:
Poor fall protection (7,270 violations) – Falls are considered one of the most common causes of injuries and deaths
in the construction industry. Employers are required to provide safety
equipment to employees, train workers on proper safety practices, install
guardrails and toe-boards, cover every floor hole, and ensure the worksite
is free of known dangers.
Improper hazard communication (4,552 violations) – Hazardous chemicals must be identified and labeled in order to
ensure chemical safety on the job and to protect workers. Chemical manufacturers
and importers must evaluate the potential dangers of the chemicals they
produce and handle.
(3,336 violations) – Another common cause of construction injuries and fatalities is
scaffolding issues. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS),
72 percent of workers who suffered injuries due to scaffolding accidents
were caused by the support or planking giving way, slips and falls, and
being struck by a falling object.
Improper respiratory protection (3,118 violations) – Respirators protect employees from smoke, gases, harmful dusts,
sprays, vapors, and environments with insufficient oxygen. These dangers
can result in lung damage, cancer, diseases, or death.
Inadequate control of hazardous energy (2,944 violations) – Hazardous energy sources include mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal,
and hydraulic sources found in machines. If hazardous energy is not adequately
controlled, workers maintaining or servicing these machines can suffer
injuries such as burns, electrocution, laceration, crushing, fractures,
and even amputation.
Poor use of ladders (2,812 violations) –Falls from ladders consist of nearly a third of all fall fatalities
in the United States. However, these deaths are often preventable by practicing
proper work safety methods.
Poor use of powered industrial trucks (2,294 violations) – From forklifts to life trucks, these vehicles are used in several industries
to move materials, as well as raise, lower, and remove objects. Employers
must ensure those operating these vehicles are properly trained and evaluated.
Improper fall prevention training (1,982 violations) – In addition to inadequate fall protection, OSHA also cites poor fall prevention
training as another common violation.
Improper machinery protection (1,972 violations) – Machines consists of several intricate moving parts within them. Since
any part, function, and processes in these machines can cause serious
work injuries such as crushed body parts, amputation, and burns, safeguards
are required to protect workers from preventable injuries.
Poor eye and face protection (1,536 violations) – Face and eye protection must be provided to employees handling chemical,
mechanical, and environmental hazards and irritants. Every year, thousands
of people are blinded due to preventable work-related eye injuries, resulting
in over $300 million in medical expenses, lost production time, and workers’
If you have suffered an injury in a construction accident,
contact Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP and schedule a free consultation with our New York City personal injury