Longtime late-night talk show host David Letterman turned Top Ten lists into a running gag that entertained millions of viewers for years. However, there is nothing funny in the Top Ten Ten list recently issued by the federal government’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
The list encompasses the most common in the agency’s 27,000 citations issued in the 2019 fiscal year in its efforts to prevent workplace injuries.
- Fall protection (general requirements): 6,010 citations
On-the-job slips, trips and falls are so common that they actually occupy two spots on OSHA’s list. Violations in the two categories account for about 25 percent of all violations – and for approximately 36 percent of all workplace fatalities.
- Hazard communication: 3,671 citations
This category refers to safety violations that occur when companies fail to inform employees of the hazards of chemicals they’re exposed to, and when businesses fail to inform workers of available protective measures to prevent adverse effects.
- Scaffolding: 2,813 citations
Violations of OSHA’s rules for safe scaffolds on construction sites.
- Lockout/tagout: 2,606 citations
These rules address procedures for to make potentially hazardous equipment while maintenance or repairs are made. Proper lockout/tagout ensures that workers are not electrocuted and do not lose their fingers, hands or arms or suffer severe injuries when machinery is turned on inadvertently.
- Respiratory protection: 2,450 citations
OSHA’s rules address work in which employees might breathe “air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays or vapors.” Preventing contamination with effective controls helps to prevent occupational illnesses and diseases that can result from inhalation of certain contaminants.
We will have more on OSHA’s Top Ten list in an upcoming post to our Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation blog. Please check back.