OSHA reveals top hazards faced by employers at NSC expo

On November 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed its top 10 most frequently cited violations at the 2011 Congress and Expo.

The ranking was presented in a demonstration by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of enforcement programs at OSHA, to a crowd on the expo's floor.

This year, fall protection rose to the top of the list, with 7,139 violations, swapping places with last year's number one, scaffolding. In 2010, 260 workers died from falls, which was once again the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

Scaffolding was second with 7,069 citations, with many of the accidents resulting from improper placement and setup of a scaffold.

All top 10 violations, with the number of citations issued, include:

• Fall Protection – 7,139
• Scaffolding – 7,069
• Hazard Communication – 6,538
• Respiratory Protection – 3,944
• Lockout/Tagout – 3,639
• Electrical, Wiring Methods – 3,584
• Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,432
• Ladders – 3,244
• Electrical, General Requirements – 2,863
• Machine Guarding – 2,728

The use of safety equipment can help to meet OSHA standards, avoid citations, and reduce injuries. Lockout/tagout standards alone have resulted in the prevention of 50,000 injuries and 120 fatalities every year.

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