In advance of the release of its final annual report on workplace safety violations, to be published in December, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released the list of the 10 most-cited safety violations in 2016.
Fall protection tops the list, with 6,929 violations, followed by hazard communication, scaffolds, respiratory protection and lockout/tagout in the top five spots.
- OSHA also updated its Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs and launched the Safe + Sound Campaign to promote its adoption.
Overall, OSHA's list has remained largely consistent from year to year. The administration is cracking down on fall protection, the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for four in 10 in 2014 alone. Electrocutions and struck-by object hazards followed at slightly more than 8% each.
Contractors have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars in just the past few months for failing to provide adequate fall-protection equipment and related training on how to use those devices properly, but OSHA has been on the lookout for such violations and citing and fining offenders for years.
This summer, the administration raised its maximum penalty payout by 78% in order to keep pace with inflation since the fee’s last increase 26 years ago, as well as to up the stakes for employers that are lax on workplace safety. Additionally, OSHA’s local and regional Emphasis Program has resulted in more firms facing OSHA inspections.