Top Ten OSHA Violations for 2019
Usually “Top Ten” lists are a good thing; movies, musical groups cars and so on. Making a top ten list is a place of prestige and honor. This quarter however, we will look at a top ten list that no one wants to be a part of, the “Top Ten OSHA Violations for 2019”. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for fiscal year 2019. This marks the ninth consecutive year it has stood atop the agency’s “Top 10” list.
Speaking in September at the National Safety Council 2019 Congress & Expo in San Diego, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, talked about another thing that hasn’t changed: The Agency’s willingness to assist employers with curbing violations involving fall protection and other standards.
"These are common violations that we’re finding – they’ve been in place for a lot of years,” Kapust said. “The answers are out there, and employers shouldn’t feel like these are very complex issues. If you don’t know the answers, we encourage you to contact OSHA.”
While that sounds all well and good, we all know that OSHA’s typical course of action is to fine first and ask questions (or give assistance) later. Therefore, it behooves us to be proactive in our safety trainings, in our policies and procedures and in the practices that we enlist in the field. Here are the “Top Ten” OSHA “Serious” violations cited for 2019. OSHA defines a “Serious” violation as “one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”
It is interesting to note that all of the situational standards in the top ten are common occurrences in our day-to-day jobsite activities.
Although they do occur at a lesser or greater degree in our common work activities, it is also of note that each of these are covered in our 12 module, monthly safety trainings.
In the case of “Ladders” that activity has been all but removed from our processes as a part of our safety policies and procedures.
The top two, fall protection and scaffolding, are covered extensively in our safety trainings and are reinforced probably more than any other of our safe work practices due to their tremendous potential for serious injury or death. With 10,200 serious infractions involving fall protection, fall protection training and scaffolding, they all but equal the infractions of the other seven combined. This is certainly an area of concern for all contractors not only from an exposure standpoint, but, also in that it creates a target for OSHA inspectors on active job sites.
In 2020, Speedy Concrete Cutting will be revamping our safety training to include more focused industry/concrete sawing and drilling specific information. Training and reviewing our safety and operational policies and procedures with a greater concentration on those activities and hazards that pose the greatest threat to everyone here at Speedy Concrete Cutting, is a top priority.
For now, review these items so that you have a greater awareness of them on your sites. Practice the preventative actions as outlined in our safety trainings and manuals and make sure you don’t make it to OSHA’s “Top Ten” in 2020!