When you work in construction or light industrial positions, you understand the importance of the standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). To help out these industries, OSHA releases annual lists from its fiscal year that highlight their most frequently cited standards. Here are a few selections from the 2019 Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards for Construction.
Fall Protection is the most frequently seen subpart title on the list. This broad category holds the ranks of numbers 1, 4, and 10. Notably, all three appear in the same positions they were for 2018, meaning companies still struggle with this important area.
The first and most common is titled ‘Duty to have fall protection.’ More than 5,000 citations were issued last year to companies for this reason. Next, at number 4, is training requirements. More than 1,500 citations were issued for improper training regarding fall protection. Finally, at number 10, is ‘fall protection systems criteria and practices,’ with over 500 citations.
The takeaway: fall protection is essential, which means OSHA takes it seriously. Make sure you have the proper systems in place and are adequately training your team about them. Falls continue to be the most common cause of construction worker deaths in the industry.
Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment
Showing up twice, this subpart is tied for the second most common on OSHA’s list. Back to back on the list, ‘eye and face protection’ comes in at number 5, and ‘head protection’ comes in at number 6. The former has more than 1200 citations while the latter is over 700. The fifth item remains the same from last year, but head protection moved up from number 8 to number 6, arguably a bad sign.
The takeaway: it’s called lifesaving equipment for a reason. Eye, face, and head protection are extremely important and shouldn’t be overlooked on the job, no matter what.
Tying with Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment for the second most common are Scaffolds. Coming in at number 2 and 9, these citations reached nearly 3,000. ‘General requirements’ racked up 2,366 and ‘aerial lifts’ just surpassed 600.
The takeaway: these fall into similar reasons as fall protection. When you’re working up high, the risk of serious injury is even greater, represented by the large proportion of deaths by falling.
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