OSHA's 10 Most-Cited Safety Violations in 2018

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Inadequate scaffolding (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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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’ compensation annually.

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 attorneys today.