OSHA’s Top Ten Citations

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency within the United States Department of Labor.  OSHA’s primary function is to inspect workplaces including manufacturing facilities and construction sites to ensure compliance with its safety and health standards.  As a result of these inspections, OSHA in most cases issues citations to employers for violations of OSHA’s standards observed during the inspection.  Below is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in 2011.

1. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451) – This standard applies to construction sites and provides the general safety requirements for the construction and use of scaffolding.

2. Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) – This rule is to protect employees from falling off, onto or through working levels and covers most construction workers.

3. Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) – The hazard communication standard provides employees with information about chemicals used in the workplace.  Employers are required to label all chemicals used in the workplace, provide employees with material safety data sheets and train employees on the safe handling of such chemicals.

4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) – Respirators are typically required to protect employees against airborne contaminants such as dusts, smokes, gases or vapors.  In most cases, the use of respirators must comply with this standard.

5. Control of Hazardous Energy (29 CFR1910.147) – Also known as the lockout/tagout standard, this standard requires employers implement practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery during service or maintenance activities.

6. Electrical Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305) – This standard sets forth the general requirements for wiring methods in the workplace.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178) –The use of powered industrial trucks such as forklifts is regulated by this standard.

8. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053) – This standard applies to construction sites and governs the use and construction of ladders.

9. Electrical Systems Design (29 CFR 1910.303) – The inspection, installation and use of electrical equipment in the workplace is governed by this standard.

10. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212) –The general requirements for machine guarding are described in this standard.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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