OSHA top ten can help focus risk management efforts

As we begin this New Year it’s a good time to reflect on ways to improve or enhance safety efforts.

Each year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes a list of the most frequently cited violations from the previous 12 months.  Knowing this, we should focus on addressing these highly cited areas, but not forget about other safety and health obligations we have to employees as well. 

As you prepare for your required annual training take a look at these areas of safety concern and be sure to address them throughout the year if any or all apply to you and your organization.  For additional safety and health information or training assistance, visit our Web site at www.vrsa.us, and look at our training calendar or Multimedia Library for assistance.

OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for Fiscal Year 2011

1)  Fall Protection: 1926.501

  • Fall protection requirements for residential construction 1926.501(b)(13)
  • Fall protection for walking/working surfaces 6 feet or higher above lower levels 1926.501(b)(1)
  • Fall protection requirements for roofing activities on low-slope roofs 1926.501(b)(10)
  • Fall protection requirements for a steep roof 1926.501(b)(11)
  • Protection from falling through holes 1926.501(b)(4)

2)   Scaffolding: 1926.451

  • Fall protection on scaffolds higher than 10 feet above a lower level 1926.451(g)(1)
  • Requires each platform on all working levels to be fully planked or decked between the front uprights and the guardrail supports 1926.451(b)(1)
  • Access requirements when platforms are more than 2 feet above or below a point of access; prohibits use of crossbars as an access means 1926.451(e)(1)
  • Requirements for a firm foundation of scaffold 1926.451(c)(2)
  • Guardrail provisions 1926.451(g)(4)

3)   Hazard Communication: 1910.1200

  • Requirements for a written hazard communication program 1910.1200(e)(1)
  • Hazardous chemical training and information requirements 1910.1200(h)(1)
  • Labeling of hazardous chemical containers 1910.1200(f)(5)
  • Material Safety Data Sheet requirements for chemical manufacturers and importers 1910.1200(g)(1)
  • Requirement to maintain copies of Material Safety Data Sheets that are easily accessible to employees. 1910.1200(g)(8)

4)   Respiratory Protection: 1910.134

  • Where respirators are necessary, the establishment of a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures 1910.13(c)(1)
  • Medical evaluation to determine employee’s ability to use a respirator prior to fit testing or use 1910.13(e)(1)
  • Requirements for voluntary use of respirators 1910.13(c)(2)
  • Annual fit-testing requirements for each type of respirator facepiece used by an employee. 1910.13(f)(2)
  • General requirements for respirator selection. 1910.13(d)(1)

5)   Lockout/Tagout: 1910.147

  • Requirements in energy control procedures 1910.147(c)(4)
  • Requirements to periodically inspect the energy control procedure 1910.147(c)(6)
  • Training and communication requirements 1910.147(c)(7)
  • Energy control program requirements 1910.147(c)(1)
  • Requirements for the application of lockout/tagout devices 1910.147(d)(4)

6)   Electrical – Wiring Methods: 1910.305

  • Concerns the use of flexible cords and cables 1910.305(g)(1)
  • Requirements for conductors entering boxes, cabinets and fittings 1910.305(b)(1)
  • Covers identification, splices and terminations 1910.305(g)(2)
  • Requirements on covers and canopies 1910.305(b)(2)
  • Requirements on temporary wiring 1910.305(a)(2)

7)   Powered Industrial Trucks: 1910.178

  • Safe operation of industrial trucks 1910.178(l)(1)
  • Refresher training and evaluation requirements 1910.178(l)(4)
  • Employer shall certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required 1910.178(l)(6)
  • Requires industrial trucks in need of repair to be taken out of service until restored to safe operating condition 1910.178(p)(1)
  • Requirements for examining industrial trucks before they are placed into service 1910.178(q)(7)

8)   Ladders: 1926.1053.

  • Requires ladder side rails to extend at least 3 feet above an upper landing surface, or be secured at its top to a rigid support 1926.1053(b)(1)
  • Use of ladders is restricted to only the purpose for which they were designed 1926.1053(b)(4)
  • Prohibits using the top or top step of a stepladder as a step 1926.1053(b)(13)
  • Requires defective ladders to be marked with a “Do Not Use” notification and withdrawn from service until repaired 1926.1053(b)(16)
  • Prohibits an employee from carrying an object that may cause the employee to lose balance and fall 1926.1053(b)(22)

9)   Electrical – General Requirements: 1910.303

  • Requires listed or labeled equipment to be installed and used in accordance with the instructions included in the listing or labeling 1910.303(b)(2)
  • Sufficient access and working space is required for all electric equipment to allow safe operation and maintenance of the equipment 1910.303(g)(1)
  • Guarding of live parts 1910.303(g)(2)
  • Requires electrical equipment to be free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm 1910.303(b)(1)
  • Each disconnecting means required by this subsection for motors and appliances shall be legibly marked to indicate its purpose 1910.303(f)(2)

10)  Machine Guarding: 1910.212

  • Requirement for guarding to protect employees in the machine area from hazards 1910.212(a)(1)
  • Requirement concerning the point of operation guarding  1910.212(a)(3)
  • Requires the secure anchoring of machinery for machines at a fixed location 1910.212(b)
  • Specifies requirements for guarding of blades 1910.121(a)(5)
  • General requirements for the location of a machine guard  1910.212(a)(2)

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