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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

In this week's update, we take a look at the most frequently cited OSHA regulations resulting from last year's inspections of jobsites by federal OSHA. Even though many of these regulations don’t correlate exactly with fall protection, highlighting them will hopefully shine a light on the sheer volume of potentially harmful workplace actions that take place every year.

The combined violations relating to fall protection make up for 16,207 of the 40,560 total citations (that's almost 40%!), showing just how focused OSHA is on ensuring the safety of those who work at heights.

Below are top 10 most frequently cited OSHA regulations:

1. Fall Protection (OSHA Standard: 1926.500) - Total # of Violations: 7,516

This standard outlines where fall protection is required, which systems should be used for given situations, the proper construction and installation of safety systems, and the proper supervision of employees to prevent falls. It is designed to protect employees on walking/working surfaces with an unprotected side or edge above six feet.

Click here to learn more about the full fall protection standard with OSHA.

2. Hazard Communication (OSHA Standard: 1920.1200) - Total # of Violations: 6,148

The purpose of this section is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are clearly defined, and that information concerning these hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. The requirements of this section are intended to be consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Revision 3. The transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warnings, safety data sheets, and employee training.

Click here to learn more about the full hazard communication standard with OSHA.

3. Scaffolding (OSHA Standard: 1926.451) - Total # of Violations: 5,724

The very presence of scaffolding at a jobsite can introduce hazards to a work environment, such as falls, falling objects, and structural instability. OSHA’s scaffolding requirements are performance-based, which means the rules aren’t as rigid as other standards. The specifics of compliance depend on the types of scaffolding used, the situations they are used in, and the personnel using them.

Click here to learn more about the full scaffolding standard with OSHA.

4. Respiratory Protection (OSHA Standard: 1910.134) - Total # of Violations: 3,843

This standard applies to general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, long shoring, and construction. It states that, in the control of occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This is accomplished by implementing accepted engineering control measures. For example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials. When effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators shall be used pursuant to this section.

Click here to learn more about the full respiratory protection standard with OSHA.

5. Powered Industrial Trucks (OSHA Standard: 1910.178) - Total # of Violations: 3,147

This section contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines. This section does not apply to compressed air or nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, to farm vehicles, or to vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling.

Click here to learn more about the full powered industrial trucks standard with OSHA.

6. Lockout / Tagout (OSHA Standard: 1910.178) - Total # of Violations: 3,117

This covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy.

Click here to learn more about the full lockout / tagout standard with OSHA.

7. Ladders (OSHA Standard: 1926.1053) - Total # of Violations: 2,967

This standard states that when portable ladders are used to access an upper landing surface, the ladder side rails shall extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is used to gain access; or, when such an extension is not possible because of the ladder's length, then the ladder shall be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect, and a grasping device, such as a grab rail, shall be provided to assist employees in mounting and dismounting the ladder. In no case shall the extension be such that ladder deflection under a load would, by itself, cause the ladder to slip off its support.

Click here to learn more about the full ladder standard with OSHA.

8. Electrical, Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment (OSHA Standard: 1910.305) - Total # of Violations: 2,907

The basic aspects of this standard include:

  1. Electrical continuity of metal raceways and enclosures. Metal raceways, cable armor, and other metal enclosures for conductors shall be metallically joined together into a continuous electric conductor and shall be so connected to all boxes, fittings, and cabinets as to provide effective electrical continuity.
  2. Wiring in ducts. No wiring systems of any type shall be installed in ducts used to transport dust, loose stock or flammable vapors. No wiring system of any type may be installed in any duct used for vapor removal or for ventilation of commercial-type cooking equipment, or in any shaft containing only such ducts.
  3. Temporary wiring. Temporary electrical power and lighting wiring methods may be of a class less than would be required for a permanent installation. Except as specifically modified in this paragraph, all other requirements of this subpart for permanent wiring shall apply to temporary wiring installations.

Click here to learn more about the full eletrical, wiring methods, components, and equipment standard with OSHA.

9. Machinery and Machine Guarding (OSHA Standard: 1910.212) - Total # of Violations: 2,520

This standard identifies types of guarding and when it is needed. In short, it states that one or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are-barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.

Click here to learn more about the full machinery and machine guarding standard with OSHA.

10. Electrical Systems Design, General Requirements (OSHA Standard: 1910.303) - Total # of Violations: 2,427

This standard covers the examination, installation, and use of electrical equipment, electrical connections, arcing parts, marking, disconnecting means and circuits, and minimum space around electrical equipment.

Click here to learn more about the full electrical systems design, general requirements standard with OSHA.

It is vital that both employers and workers understand the importance of complying with OSHA regulations. Understanding and satisfying these regulations will ensure a safe jobsite, protect the work force, and save lives.

We encourage you to contact our customer support team at 1-800-466-6385 for more information as to whether fall protection is required on your jobsite, which systems are appropriate for your job site, proper construction and installation of safety systems, and for support in training to prevent falls.

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