With 2015 coming to a close, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) is set to release its Top 10 safety violations for the year.
These violations will likely shape the federal agency’s enforcement and strategy
initiatives for 2016.
10. Electrical — General
On the list for the last five consecutive years, electrical violations include the
general safety requirements for designing electrical systems.
Top code infractions: inspection of electrical equipment, disconnecting means and
circuits and identifying the manufacturer and ratings.
This has accounted for nearly 2,000 violations
9. Machine Guarding
This violation is in the No. 9 spot for the second consecutive year. These types of
violations include guarding machinery to protect its operators and others from
potential hazards such as flying chips or sparks.
Top code infractions: types of guarding, anchoring fixed machinery and improper
exposed blade guarding requirements.
This has accounted for nearly 2,300 violations this year.
8. Electrical — Wiring Methods
With fewer violations than the previous year, this violation has moved from No. 7 to
No. 8 on the list, showing signs of improvement. These violations cover the
grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation.
Top code infractions: the use and location of approved flexible cords and cables
and not exposing employees to live parts on fixtures, lampholders and receptacles.
This has accounted for just over 2,400 violations in 2015.
A mainstay on the violations list, the use of ladders has moved up on this list from
No. 8 to No. 7. This involves the general requirements for using all ladders.
Top code infractions: the ladder’s side rails extending a minimum of 3 feet above
an upper landing surface, only using ladders for their designed purpose and using
them only on stable surfaces.
This accounted for nearly 2,500 violations this year.
6. Powered Industrial Trucks
Powered industrial trucks claims the No. 6 spot for the second year in a row. This
violation involves the design, maintenance and operation of vehicles such as
forklifts and motorized hand trucks.
Top code infractions: ensuring the competency of powered industrial truck
operators, not driving up to fixed objects or people and removing unsafe powered
industrial trucks until they are repaired.
This accounted for over 2,700 violations in 2015.
Moving up from the No. 6 spot, lockout/tagout is the requirement for controlling
hazardous energy in the servicing and maintenance of equipment and machines.
Top code infractions: establishing and training employees on energy control
procedures, application of control and testing and positioning of machines.
This accounted for more than 3,000 violations this year.
4. Respiratory Protection
For the second straight year at No. 4, this standard requires employers to establish
and maintain a respiratory protection program.
Top code infractions: establishing and implementing a written respiratory protection
program, medical evaluation requirements and fit testing.
This accounted for more than 3,300 violations in 2015.
Claiming the No. 3 spot for the fourth year in a row, scaffolding covers the general
safety requirements for scaffolding, including its use and development.
Top code infractions: fall protection, access requirements and the criteria for
This accounted for more than 4,000 violations this year.
2. Hazard Communication
In the No. 2 spot for the fourth year in a row, the violation addresses the hazards of
chemicals both produced and imported into the workplace and how employees are
exposed to those chemicals.
Top code infractions: employee information and training, labels on shipped
containers and developing, implementing and maintaining a written hazard
This accounted for more than 5,000 violations in 2015.
No. 1 since 2011, fall protection is the proper construction and installation of safety
systems and proper supervision of employees to prevent falls.
Top code infractions: residential construction, steep roofs, unprotected sides and
edges and protection from falling through holes.
This has so far accounted for nearly 7,000 violations in 2015.
All 10 violations are repeat offenders, yet all are serious safety hazards that CAN be
The official list, with the final count of violations issued for each hazard, will be
unveiled in the December issue of Safety + Health Magazine.
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