OHS Canada Magazine

OSHA unveils top 10 list of safety violations


September 26, 2022
By Todd Humber

Health & Safety National Safety Council NSC OSHA Safety Violations Top 10 List

OSHA unveiled the top 10 list of safety violations at the 2022 National Safety Council conference in San Diego. Photo: Todd Humber

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The top 10 safety violations have been released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Labor.

While it’s an American list, it’s still interesting for Canadians to take a look at the most commonly cited violations. The list was unveiled by Patrick Kapust, acting director, OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs, at the National Safety Council’s annual conference and exhibition.

Kapust pointed out that the data is preliminary — and that the top 10 has remained fairly consistent year to year.

10. Machine Guarding: 1,370 violations

One of the common issues is machinery not being anchored, he said.

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“You can’t have this machinery unsecured,” said Kapust.

Another issue is exposed blades that can pose a significant risk to hands, adding that they’re seeing these types of violations in machine shops, plastic product manufacturing and sheet metal shops.

9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment: Eye and Face Protection: 1,401 violations

This is a construction standard, said Kaput. And one of the most common issues is people not using the appropriate eye or face protection.

8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements: 1,556 violations

This is another construction standard, he said. One of the issues that has popped up is that training isn’t always done by a competent person, he said.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks: 1,749 violations

Training is a key concern on this front, as is the operation of trucks that are unsafe and aren’t being removed from service. There are also issues with maintenance not being done by authorized workers, said Kapust.

6. Lockout/Tagout: 1,977 violations

“We’re seeing that federal energy control procedures are not being used during maintenance activies,” said Kapust. “And training and communication on the lockout tagout program is not being conducted.”

5. Scaffolding: 2,058 violations

This is also a construction standard.

“We’re seeing that fall protection is not being required on scaffolding,” he said, adding that scaffolds often aren’t restrained properly so they don’t tip.
Workers are also using the cross pieces to get access to the scaffolding.

4. Ladders: 2,143 violations

This is also a construction standard, said Kapust. One key issue is ladders being used for purposes beyond what they were designed to do, such as scaffolding or accessing the top step.

3. Respiratory Protection: 2,185 violations

Common issues include not having a written respiratory protection program and the lack of fit testing.

2. Hazard Communication: 2,424 violations

Common issues include not maintaining the safety data sheets or the chemicals in their workplace.

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements: 5,260 violations

“OSHA’s annual Top 10 list helps define trends so safety professionals can find the appropriate solutions,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Despite advancements in workplace safety, we continue to see the same types of violations each year. It’s more important than ever employers seek education and resources to keep their workers safe.”

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