Safety violations at height top the list

29 December 2009

A report from OSHA (the US department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration) shows that in 2009 safety violations while working at height were among the most common in the US and, overall, the number of violations in the top-ten have increased by 30%.

The most number of reported violations came from scaffolding - 9093 violations. OSHA said that Scaffold accidents most often result from the planking or support giving way, or from the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.

At number 2 was violations in fall protection - 6771 reported incidents. OSHA recommends that any time a worker is at a height of 4 ft (1.2 m) or more, the worker is at risk and needs to be protected. Fall protection must be provided at 4 ft in general industry, 5 ft (1.5 m) in maritime and 6 ft (1.8 m) in construction.

Safety violations with ladders came in at number 7, with 3072 violations. The US Department of Labor lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma.

Janet Froetscher, president and CEO the National Safety Council said, "We appreciate our colleagues at OSHA presenting their new violation data to such a receptive audience. The sheer number of violations gives us new resolve in raising awareness about the importance of having sound safety procedures."

The top 10 safety violations as collected by OSHA are listed below:

1. Scaffolding - 9,093 violations

2. Fall Protection - 6,771 violations

3. Hazard Communication (chemical labelling) - 6,378 violations

4. Respiratory Protection - 3,803 violations

5. Lockout-Tag out (procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment) - 3,321 violations

6. Electrical (Wiring) - 3,079 violations

7. Ladders - 3,072 violations

8. Powered Industrial Trucks - 2,993 violations

9. Electrical - 2,556 violations

10. Machine Guarding - 2,364 violations

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