Tech Talk Blog

Fall Protection Remains OSHA’s Top Citation In 2016

Every October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases its preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. OSHA compiled this year’s Top Ten Citations List using data collected from 32,000 workplace inspections throughout the United States.  The annual release of this information is your classic good news/bad news scenario.  On a positive note, we can all learn something from studying this list.  The bad news is that the Top 10 Citation List looks remarkably similar to prior years.

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Fall Protection Violations Remain OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Safety Violation

OSHA has just published a preliminary list of the top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2015.  Although the category rankings show minor variations each year, the consistency of the top 10 safety citations is remarkably consistent.  If you are a regular Tech Talk reader, it will come as no surprise that Fall Protection remains the most frequently cited safety category, with the number of violations already eclipsing 2014 levels by over 9%.

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What You Can Learn From OSHA Fall Protection Citations

In April, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a $2.4 million dollar settlement with Republic Steel over alleged safety violations found in plants located in Lorain, Canton and Massillon, Ohio, and Blasdell, N.Y. The comprehensive settlement addresses more than 100 alleged OSHA safety and health violations discovered in 2013 and a “serious” citation stemming from the death of a Republic employee in the Lorain plant rail yard in February, 2014.

Although the sheer size of the settlement is an ample reminder that we should all take safety seriously, perhaps the more interesting part of this story is how Republic first landed in the crosshairs of OSHA inspectors.  Last fall, OSHA placed all of Republic’s facilities under greater scrutiny when an employee sustained serious injuries after falling through a roof at the Lorain plant.  As a result of this incident, OSHA inspectors fanned out to multiple Republic plants under the auspices of the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).  This program “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.”

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Did You Know?

All skylights are considered an opening and therefore must be protected from a fall exposure?