Everybody likes a good Top Ten list, and those of us who follow OSHA like to know what types of violations make it to OSHA’s Top Ten list.
So here we go–the following are the Top Ten Most Cited Violations by OSHA in 2021:
Note that fall protection has held the top spot on the list for eleven straight years. The violation that moved up the charts this year was respiratory protection, possibly driven by COVID-related issues. Hazard communication (Hazcom) fell from second to fifth.
Employers need to regularly check their worksites to make sure that workers are protected from fall hazards. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry, and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.
Furthermore, to prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:
And make sure that employees are trained in the use of any safety harnesses and actually utilize them. I have visited a site where a worker fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor (and survived). His employer had provided a safety harness, but he never bothered to put it on. A supervisor or manager should conduct regular checks of workers to verify that they are using fall protection when necessary.
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