Top OSHA Violations and How to Avoid Them

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017, 12:47:42 PM
Brett Long
factory workers in uniform looking to avoid OSHA violations

Providing a safe work environment for employees should be a priority for your company. When compliance is overlooked and workers aren't trained properly or act carelessly an accident or injuries can easily occur.

Compliance with safety regulations will help your company to avoid accidents and costly OSHA violations that will stall your project or shut down a work site.

“The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council. “When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

These are OSHA's top 10 most cited violations for 2017: illustration of repairman with wrench on a rolling chair

  1. Fall Protection in Construction
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout
  6. Ladders in Construction
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Machine Guarding
  9. Fall Protection—Training Requirements
  10. Electrical—Wiring Methods

This list is a great place to start to evaluate safety on your own jobsite or workplace. Doing so will help you to avoid potential OSHA violations and expensive fines. This will also help you to be prepared if an OSHA inspector shows up at your site.

Document Procedures

Make sure that everyone at your company is aware of OSHA standards and guidelines so they can better follow them. One of the most important things you can do to avoid potential OSHA violations is to create a plan to deal with these hazards, and to train your employees sufficiently. Keep safety plans and procedures well documented and accessible to employees.

OSHA also provides training materials and resources to help you stay compliant and to create procedures for your company.

Identify Hazards

illustration of repairman putting out a fireViolations related to falls and fall hazards consistently top OSHA's list. Workers need to be able to safely access all areas on a jobsite or in the workplace to complete tasks. Guardrails, safety harnesses, railings, secure scaffolding and not having open areas are all steps you should take to protect workers.

In order to minimize risks for everyone on your site, it's important to complete a job safety analysis. Each job safety analysis should outline the hazards of the job being performed, as well as what steps will be taken to prevent injury to the people completing the task. Once documented, this information can be used in employee trainings and can help you to be OSHA compliant.

Provide Sufficient and Frequent Training repairman with safety issue - shirt stuck in machinery

Make sure that everyone at your company is aware of OSHA standards so they can better follow them. This is one of the most crucial areas to focus on to avoid OSHA violations. A lack of employee training is more likely to lead to an accident.

Provide training for all employees on using equipment and general safety procedures. Also, make sure that your documentation and training materials are updated regularly.

Safety training shouldn't be limited to employee on-boarding. It needs to be consistently discussed and emphasized. Hold safety trainings every few months to keep the information fresh in employees' minds. Creating a culture of compliance and safety will help your company to avoid dangerous situations and costly delays.

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