OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2017

The United States’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced the preliminary top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2017.


While the rankings for OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations vary little from year to year, violation number nine, fall protection – training requirements is new to the list this year.


“The OSHA top 10 is more than just a list; it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe,” said National Safety Council president and CEO Deborah Hersman. “When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”
The top 10 for 2017 are:

  1. Fall protection – general requirements. There were 6,072 fall protection violations in the construction industry. This number is down from 6,906 in fiscal year 2016. These violations include failing to guard edges and open sides to prevent workers from falling.
  2. Hazard communication. There were 4,176 citations in 2017, which is down from 5,665 in 2016. Employers that use hazardous chemicals must have a written hazard communication program. They are also required to label all containers and provide safety data sheets and training to employees.
  3. Scaffolding. There were fewer scaffolding violations in the construction industry in 2017 (3,288) than in 2016 (3,900). Safety violations include issues with scaffold construction, employee access to scaffolding surfaces and lack of guardrails.
  4. Respiratory protection. Violations fell by 476 to 3,097 in 2017. Violations include failing to have a written respiratory-protection program and failing to conduct required medical examinations for workers who use respirators.
  5. Lockout/tagout. Violations have dropped by 529 to 2,877. Lockout/tagout procedures are meant to safeguard employees when machinery starts up unexpectedly or when hazardous energy is released during maintenance activities. Failing to train workers or conduct periodic inspections account for many violations.
  6. Ladders. Improper use of ladders resulted in 2,241 citations in 2017 compared to 2,625 in 2016.
  7. Powered industrial trucks. Forklift drivers must be trained, certified and reevaluated every three years. Improper fork lift use and training account for many violations. There were 2,162 violations in 2017 compared to 2,855 in 2016.
  8. Machine guarding. There were 1,933 total violations in 2017—down from 2,448 in 2016. Machine guarding is meant to protect workers from point-of-operation hazards and dangers caused by ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Point-of-operation hazards account for most violations.
  9. Fall protection – training requirements. There were 1,523 fall protection training violations in 2017. This category wasn’t on the top ten list in 2016.
  10. Electrical – wiring methods. Faulty electrical wiring methods accounted for 1,405 violations—down from 1,937 in  2016.  Frequent violations include improper use of extension cords.

For questions and/or more information about this brief, contact your Vista Safety Representative:

Roger M. Paveza, CRIS President
847.951.7544 roger@vistasafetyconsulting.com

Kyle Cochran, CSP Sr. Vice President
812.201.7150 kyle@vistasafetyconsulting.com

Eric A. White, CHST, CRIS Sr. Vice President
708.560.6244 eric@vistasafetyconsulting.com

Muhummad Starks Safety Consultant
720.937.5087 mstarks@vistasafetyconsulting.com

Any information and/or recommendations contained herein have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and represent the best current opinion on the subject. No warranty, guarantee, or representation is made by Vista Safety Consulting, LLC as to the absolute correctness or sufficiency of any information contained herein. This information is advisory and designed to assist clients with the implementation, management, and control of their own safety program and activities. Vista Safety Consulting, LLC assumes no responsibility for the implementation, correction, or control of any conditions or recommendations identified herein, and is thereby not liable for any health and safety violation(s) and/or injuries on a site.

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