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OSHA's top 10 violations for fiscal year 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a list of the top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2017. They were recently announced at the National Safety Council's Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, but they equally apply to Ohioans.

These top 10 violations generally remain consistent from year to year, but this may change in 2018 with the implementation of new rules addressing fall protection, ladders and walking/working surfaces. For this year, however, fall protection violations remain the most common, comprising 6,072 violations, such as failing to guard edges and open sides. The second most cited violation is hazard communication, which accounts for 4,176 violations, such as failing to label chemicals or provide access to data safety sheets.

Third on the list is scaffolding, which accounts for 3,288 violations -- down from last year's 3,900 -- including lack of guardrails and scaffold construction issues. Fourth was respiratory protection violations, including failure to establish respiratory programs and failure to provide medical evaluations. These violations totaled 3,097 this year.

Fifth is control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), which received 2,877 violations. Regulations pertaining to lockout/tagout are designed to protect employees from machinery that may start up unexpectedly or release hazardous energy during maintenance activities.

Sixth was ladders, commonly used in the construction industry. There were 2,241 ladder violations, including improper use and damaged ladders. Seventh was powered industrial truck violations, which totaled 2,162. This category pertains to the design, maintenance and use of specialized industrial trucks.

Eighth was machine guarding. These types of violations, including point-of-operation hazards, amounted to 1,933. Ninth on the list was training requirements, specifically, pertaining to fall protection. These training violations were not on the list last year, but account for 1,523 violations in 2017. Wiring methods was last on the list, which 1,405 violations were cited, such as improper use of extension cords.

Failure to comply with OSHA regulations often leads to workplace injuries. Workers who are injured in the workplace or who develop an occupational illness may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Society for Human Resource Management, "Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017," Lisa Nagele-Piazza, Oct. 16, 2017

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