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Top Ten OSHA Workplace Safety Violations

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA) has identified the top ten workplace safety violations in 2013 throughout the United States. The top 10 increased by 45 percent over 2012.

A private company that consults with businesses recommends strategies for businesses to identify opportunities to improve safety in these top 10 areas, protecting workers and avoiding fines.

Three of the top 10 violations involve falls and lack of fall protection. The solution, according to the consulting company, is to provide fall protection equipment and train all workers – full time, part time and temporary – and inspect equipment regularly.

Adopting the Hazard Communication Standard requires businesses to conduct training about revisions to classification and labelling requirements for hazardous chemicals. This step alone has the potential to prevent at least 600 illnesses and injuries each year.

Lack of respiratory protection is the fourth most common OSHA violation. All employees must have the correct masks for the identified hazard and it must be tested to ensure effectiveness.

Between five and ten workers are killed or injured every day because of arc flash accidents. Employees working with these hazards must have flame resistant clothing, face shields and other equipment. Clothing must be washed correctly in order to preserve flame-resistance.

Businesses must provide required equipment guards and follow correct lockout/tagout procedures to prevent injury from unexpected machinery restarts. Companies must offer regular safety training. Full compliance could prevent around 120 deaths and 50,000 injuries each year.

Workers who operate fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other electric or internal combustion engines-powered trucks must be given operational training and wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).

OSHA publishes its Top 10 list to inform employers and workers about common causes of workplace injury that could be prevented by following required safety and equipment procedures.