OSHA reveals top 10 safety violations for 2009

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the preliminary top 10 most frequent workplace safety violations for 2009, according to Reuters. The number of top 10 safety violations has increased almost 30 percent compared with the same time period in 2008.

The top 10 workplace safety violations are:
  1. Scaffolding—9,093 violations: Scaffolding accidents often are caused by planking or support giving way or an employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
  2. Fall protection—6,771 violations: When a worker is at a height of 4 feet or more, the worker is at risk. Fall protection must be provided at 4 feet in general industry, 5 feet in maritime and 6 feet in construction.
  3. Hazard communication—6,378 violations: Chemical manufacturers and importers must evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, as well as prepare labels and safety data sheets to communicate hazard information to customers.
  4. Respiratory protection—3,803 violations: Respirators protect workers against hazards such as harmful dusts, smoke, mists and gases, which may cause serious diseases.
  5. Lockout-tag out—3,321 violations: "Lockout-tag out" refers to specific practices and procedures to protect employees from unexpected startup of machinery and equipment or release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
  6. Electrical (wiring)—3,079 violations: Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians and other professionals work directly with electricity, including overhead lines, cable harnesses and circuit assemblies. Office workers or salespeople indirectly work with electricity and may be exposed to electrical hazards.
  7. Ladders—3,072 violations: DOL lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death; 8 percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma are the result of falls.
  8. Powered industrial trucks—2,993 violations: Each year, U.S. workplaces experience tens of thousands of injuries related to powered industrial trucks, or forklifts. Injuries can result from employees being struck by a lift truck and lift trucks inadvertently being driven off loading docks, among other things.
  9. Electrical (general)—2,556 violations: Employees who work directly (engineers, electricians) or indirectly (office workers, salespeople) with electricity may be exposed to electrical hazards.
  10. Machine guarding—2,364 violations: When a machine's operation or accidental contact injures an operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. Any machine part, function or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.
The final report about the top 10 safety violations for 2009 will be published in the December issue of the National Safety Council's Safety+Health magazine.

Date : 11/10/2009


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