Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations in 2013 Announced by OSHA: How Dangerous is Your Job?


Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations in 2013 Announced by OSHA: How Dangerous is Your Job?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled its annual list of the most dangerous workplace situations as its ” OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2013″ were announced this week at the National Safety Council’s annual Expo.    (The full report will be published in the December 2013 issue of the NSC’s Safety+Health magazine.)

OSHA’s Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations List

[Standard: Total Violations]

1.  1926.501 – Fall Protection :8,241
2.  1910.1200 – Hazard Communication: 6,156
3.  1926.451 – Scaffolding: 5,423
4.  1910.134 – Respiratory Protection: 3,879
5.  1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods: 3,452
6.  1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks: 3,340
7.  1926.1053 – Ladders: 3,311
8.  1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout: 3,254
9.  1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements: 2,745
10. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding: 2,701

Falls Are the Number One On the Job Work Injury Danger According to OSHA

This isn’t really a surprise to workers in places like construction sites, mills, mines,  and docks that FALLS are a real and present danger on the job site, and that people get hurt working on the job from all kinds of fall scenarios.

Fall Protection tops the list of the 2013 Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s most-cited workplace safety violations.  Employers are required to have fall protections in place for their workers on the job.  It’s the law.

Of course, workers know that things aren’t always as they should be on the work site, and on the job injuries that seriously injure workers on the job happen all the time because safety is not what it should be on the job.  Workers’ compensation laws and personal injury claims may become necessary vehicles for these injured workers to get the relief and justice they need and deserve.

Specifically, here is the OSHA Standard for fall protection (1925.501) as it appears in the Code of Federal Regulations:

1926.501(a)”General.”
1926.501(a)(1)This section sets forth requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems. All fall protection required by this section shall conform to the criteria set forth in 1926.502 of this subpart.
1926.501(a)(2)The employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.
1926.501(b)(1)”Unprotected sides and edges.” Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
1926.501(b)(2)”Leading edges.”
1926.501(b)(2)(i)Each employee who is constructing a leading edge 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.
Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.
1926.501(b)(2)(ii)Each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level where leading edges are under construction, but who is not engaged in the leading edge work, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. If a guardrail system is chosen to provide the fall protection, and a controlled access zone has already been established for leading edge work, the control line may be used in lieu of a guardrail along the edge that parallels the leading edge.
1926.501(b)(3)”Hoist areas.” Each employee in a hoist area shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by guardrail systems or personal fall arrest systems. If guardrail systems, [or chain, gate, or guardrail] or portions thereof, are removed to facilitate the hoisting operation (e.g., during landing of materials), and an employee must lean through the access opening or out over the edge of the access opening (to receive or guide equipment and materials, for example), that employee shall be protected from fall hazards by a personal fall arrest system.
1926.501(b)(4)”Holes.”
1926.501(b)(4)(i)Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.
1926.501(b)(4)(ii)Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from tripping in or stepping into or through holes (including skylights) by covers.
1926.501(b)(4)(iii)Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from objects falling through holes (including skylights) by covers.
1926.501(b)(5)”Formwork and reinforcing steel.” Each employee on the face of formwork or reinforcing steel shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, or positioning device systems.
1926.501(b)(6)”Ramps, runways, and other walkways.” Each employee on ramps, runways, and other walkways shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by guardrail systems.
1926.501(b)(7)”Excavations.”
1926.501(b)(7)(i)Each employee at the edge of an excavation 6 feet (1.8 m) or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, or barricades when the excavations are not readily seen because of plant growth or other visual barrier;
1926.501(b)(7)(ii)Each employee at the edge of a well, pit, shaft, and similar excavation 6 feet (1.8 m) or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, barricades, or covers.
1926.501(b)(8)”Dangerous equipment.”
1926.501(b)(8)(i)Each employee less than 6 feet (1.8 m) above dangerous equipment shall be protected from falling into or onto the dangerous equipment by guardrail systems or by equipment guards.
1926.501(b)(8)(ii)Each employee 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above dangerous equipment shall be protected from fall hazards by guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems.
1926.501(b)(9)”Overhand bricklaying and related work.”
1926.501(b)(9)(i)Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each employee performing overhand bricklaying and related work 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels, shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or shall work in a controlled access zone.
1926.501(b)(9)(ii)Each employee reaching more than 10 inches (25 cm) below the level of the walking/working surface on which they are working, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.
Note: Bricklaying operations performed on scaffolds are regulated by subpart L – Scaffolds of this part.
1926.501(b)(10)”Roofing work on Low-slope roofs.” Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system. Or, on roofs 50-feet (15.25 m) or less in width (see Appendix A to subpart M of this part), the use of a safety monitoring system alone [i.e. without the warning line system] is permitted.
1926.501(b)(11)”Steep roofs.” Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
1926.501(b)(12)”Precast concrete erection.” Each employee engaged in the erection of precast concrete members (including, but not limited to the erection of wall panels, columns, beams, and floor and roof “tees”) and related operations such as grouting of precast concrete members, who is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems, unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.
Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.
1926.501(b)(13)”Residential construction.” Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.
Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.
1926.501(b)(14)”Wall openings.” Each employee working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels and the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches (1.0 m) above the walking/working surface, shall be protected from falling by the use of a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system.
1926.501(b)(15)”Walking/working surfaces not otherwise addressed.” Except as provided in 1926.500(a)(2) or in 1926.501 (b)(1) through (b)(14), each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.
1926.501(c)”Protection from falling objects.”
When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employer shall have each employee wear a hard hat and shall implement one of the following measures:
1926.501(c)(1)Erect toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems to prevent objects from falling from higher levels; or,
1926.501(c)(2) Erect a canopy structure and keep potential fall objects far enough from the edge of the higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced; or,
1926.501(c)(3) Barricade the area to which objects could fall, prohibit employees from entering the barricaded area, and keep objects that may fall far enough away from the edge of a higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced. [59 FR 40732, Aug. 9, 1994; 60 FR 5131, Jan. 26, 1995]

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