The list of this year’s most ticketed safety violations in the workplace is out. According to Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, “This list doesn’t change much from year to year, even if the order does.” Even though virtually all categories reported fewer violations than the previous year, Kapust encourages workplace owners and managers to “look at [their] own workplaces to make sure hazards are addressed and corrected.”
- Fall Protection, 6,072 violations – This number shrank from 6,906 in 2016. These violations include failing to guard edges and open sides to prevent falls.
- Hazard Communication, 4,176 violations – Also down (1,500 fewer than in 2016). Employers using hazardous chemicals must have a written hazard communication program, label all containers, and provide safety data sheets and safety training to employees.
- Scaffolding, 3,288 violations – There were fewer construction industry scaffolding violations than in 2016 (3,900). Violations included scaffold construction, employee access to scaffolding surfaces and lack of guardrails.
- Respiratory Protection, 3,097 violations – Violations fell by 476 from 2016’s 3,573. They include absence of a written respiratory-protection program and failing to conduct required medical exams for workers who use respirators.
- Lockout/Tagout, 2,877 violations – Violations dropped by 529 from 2016’s total. Failing to train workers or conduct periodic inspections comprised most of the violations in this category.
- Ladders, 2,241 violations – Improper use of ladders accounted for fewer citations in 2017 than the 2,625 the previous year.
- Powered Industrial Trucks, 2,162 violations – Improper fork lift use and substandard training triggered many violations. There were 2,162 in 2017, down almost 25 percent from the 2,855 in 2016.
- Machine Guarding, 1,933 violations – Point-of-operation hazards meant to protect workers from dangers caused by ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks accounted for most of the 1,933 total violations in 2017: down from 2,448 the previous year.
- Fall Protection — Training Requirements, 1,523 violations – A new entry to the OSHA Top Ten, there were 1,523 of these violations in 2017.
- Electrical Wiring Methods, 1,405 violations – Faulty electrical wiring methods accounted for 1,405 violations, which was down from 1,937 in 2016. The most prominent violations involved improper use of extension cords.
But New York’s Construction’s Safety Picture is Not So Encouraging
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NYCOSH) latest construction fatality report says that construction worker deaths are rising in New York, and many employers throughout the state consistently violate regulations and code requirements.
The report – Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State – found that in its most recent survey period (2014-15), thirty workers died on New York City construction sites, adding to the nearly 500 construction workers who were killed on New York City sites from 2005-15. According to 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 49 percent of construction deaths in New York State and 59 percent of them in New York City were caused by falls. In NYCOSH’s analysis of all construction site inspections in New York State in 2014, it determined that over 68 percent of site inspections revealed safety violations. The report also disclosed that non-union construction sites were found to be especially dangerous for workers.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, or a family member has been killed, and you need legal assistance, please call The Kaplan Law Firm at (516) 399-2364 or fill out our online contact form.