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Part 2: Preliminary List of OSHA's Top 10 Safety Violations of 2017

In the first part of OSHA’s top 10 list of safety violations, we found that fall protection violations were the largest safety violation of 2017 with 6,072 reports of broken rules. Below, we look into the second half of OSHA’s top 10 safety violations of 2017.

Ladders (2,241 Violations)

Ladders are the cause of many workplace accidents because they are deceptively innocent. Typically, ladders are used to scale one or two stories. While falling from these heights is usually nonfatal, many workers are seriously injured from the misuse of a ladder. Ladders are utilized when a smaller task needs to be performed, and many employers do not take the necessary steps in setting up ladders correctly and checking ladder integrity regularly. Even the position of a ladder can cause serious harm if another worker runs into the ladder and knocks it over.

Powered Industrial Trucks (2,162 Violations)

The next highest-reported violation category is powered industrial trucks. This comes as no surprise to construction and metal workers, as industrial truck accidents are common in those employment settings. Supervisors and foreman often do not train their employees to use work trucks correctly. Many times, workers are lead to believe that industrial trucks “drive just like any other truck.” However, this is rarely the case. Industrial trucks are often heavier or bulkier than regular trucks. This means blind spots, brake use, and overall maneuverability are all different from what they are expecting.

Machine Guarding (1,933 Violations)

Similar to lockout / tagout violations, machine guarding violations can result in serious injuries due to the various hazards that heavy machinery poses to workers. Drills, saws, crushing platforms, hydraulics, and many other machine-related functions can cause bodily harm to employees who get too close. For this reason, machine guarding is extremely important in warehouse jobs that utilize heavy machinery.

Machine guards can be any number of machine safety features such as:

  • Guardrails
  • Fences and other barriers
  • Saw and blade guards
  • Restraint devices
  • Automatic safety features

A failure to install or maintain any number of these safety features can end in an OSHA violation.

Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1,523 Violations)

Fall protection training requirements state that every employee who is exposed to the possibility of falling in their job must obtain a certificate of training, which shows that the employee has gone through a fall protection program. In 2017, these 1,523 violations means that the employers of 1,523 employees were unable to produce fall protection certification requirements for said employees. This means 1,523 workers were found to be untrained in fall protection requirements.

Electrical Wiring Methods (1,405 Violations)

Electrical wiring malfunctions can cause industrial fires, explosions, and electrocutions. One faulty spark can ignite a blaze that burns an industrial facility to the ground. Due to the seriousness of the hazards, company workers are in grave risk of injury when electrical wiring is improperly installed or maintained. These violations are ticking time bombs for employees who work in close proximity.