For contractors, a successful year is a safe year. Identifying and addressing safety gaps is an important way to prevent mishaps big and small. Awareness of the top five safety violations identified by OSHA in 2022 can help you steer your workers—and business— to the best year ever.
Top Five Safety Violations
Successful contractors know safety is their top priority. For Construction Pros point out that understanding the most common violations the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found this past year can help “identify and address safety gaps” at our jobsites. Unfortunately, topping the list of the most frequently cited safety violations in 2022, for the twelfth straight year, was Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): “Fall protection—or lack thereof—has become more than just a hazard. Falls are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities, particularly in the construction industry….Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), along with guardrails, safety nets, or fall arrest systems for employees above six feet or more. Train your team on the proper use of fall protection equipment and inspect your systems regularly.”
Number two on OSHA’s frequently found violations is failures related Hazard Communication (1910.1200) and Construction Pros remind us:
Employees have the right to know about any hazardous materials they may work with and how to handle them. Hazards can range from gases and vapors to fumes, fibers, and mist. And as the second most cited violation on OSHA’s list, there’s plenty of room for more hazard communication….Inform workers of hazardous chemicals, the risks associated with exposure, and safety measures. Share this information with your employees through written programs, hazard labels and warnings, safety data sheets (SDSs), and in-person training.
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Rounding Out the List: Safety Violations
In third, fourth and fifth place on OSHA’s most most frequently cited safety violations are: Respiratory Protection (1910.134); Ladders (1926.1053); and Scaffolding (1926.451). For advice on reviewing your jobsite safety procedures in preparation for a safe year forward, contractors are encouraged to implement these tips from pros, including:
Respiratory protection standards can help protect workers from harmful substances and air pollutants. Still, many businesses over the past year struggled to obtain proper medical evaluations, provide fit testing to their employees, or implement respiratory protection programs….Equip your employees with the appropriate respirators and educate them on proper uses. Create a formal respiratory protection program that requires employees to complete medical evaluations, perform fit testing, and participate in respirator training.
Ladders are an invaluable tool on most worksites, but they can present several hazards for those using them. The results of improper use can lead to serious injury—and, as seen by OSHA’s list—result in penalties….Inspect your ladders and remove broken or poorly maintained items from service. Evaluate how much weight your ladders can support and train employees on proper usage. Remind your team to avoid standing on the top step (or cap) of ladders.
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