June 23, 2021

It’s important to keep employees safe and healthy. This is a primary goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They record common OSHA violations that often happen within workplaces. By becoming aware of top OSHA violations, you can take steps to prevent these frequent accidents and keep your employees safe.

Top five common OSHA violations

Take the steps to avoid the following in your workplace:

  1. Falls (construction). It’s important to ensure all working and walking surfaces are strong enough and free from holes, with a structure that can safely support employees. This also includes additions to help ensure safety, such as guardrails, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
  2. Improper chemical hazard communication. All chemicals, especially toxic and hazardous chemicals, used on the job should be identified using the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This includes labels of warning, safety data sheets, and employee training.
  3. Inadequate respiratory protection. Workplaces contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors must take steps to protect employees. This includes ventilation, the substitution of less toxic materials, and protective equipment, such as a respirator.
  4. Unsafe scaffolding use. Any scaffolding must be able to support its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load to keep employees safe when using it. If secured by suspension rope, the rope must be able to support its own weight plus six times the maximum intended load.
  5. Improper ladder use (construction). To ensure safety, ladders must be able to support four times the maximum intended load, with other rules applying based on the material the ladder is made from. Ladder rungs must be clean and parallel in construction and spaced evenly. All ladder surfaces must be appropriate to prevent injury, including cuts and snagging of clothing.

You can find more detailed descriptions of these five violations and how to prevent them on the OHSA website.

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