If OSHA were to come knocking at your door, how ready would you be? Do you know your organization’s most likely safety vulnerabilities? At the recent National Safety Council Congress & Expo, OSHA announced the 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2012. These include:
- Fall Protection
- Hazard Communication
- Respiratory Protection
- Machine Guarding
- Powered Industrial Trucks
- Electrical Wiring
- Lockout / Tagout
- Electrical – General
You can learn the most common citations for a specific industry SIC code using an OSHA tool – simply enter the 4-digit Standard Industrial Classification code and the number of employees in your organization.
Worker injuries and deaths
In 2011, 4,609 workers were killed on the job in 2011 – almost 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. The four most common work-related fatal injury events include highway/motor vehicle events, homicides, falls, and being struck by objects. Learn more at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) page.
Every year, nearly 4 million people suffer an on-the-job workplace injury. See the Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2011.
The top 7 occupations with an incidence rate of more than 300 injuries per 10,000 full time workers were:
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
- Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants
- Light truck or delivery service drivers
- Laborers and freight, stock and material movers
- Correctional officers
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Janitors and cleaners
What if OSHA comes knocking on your door?
OSHA can inspect any workplace at any time and usually they arrive unannounced. In 2011, federal and state OSHA divisions conducted more than 90,000 inspections. Most OSHA inspections occur as a follow-up to an accident or in response to a complaint, although some industries with higher than average injuries command more attention from OSHA. For example, in April, OSHA announced a National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities due to the high rate of injuries and lost workdays in that sector. OSHA noted that, “The incidence rate for cases involving days away from work in the nursing and residential care sector was 2.3 times higher than that of all private industry as a whole, despite the availability of feasible controls to address hazards.” Another industry that has been under OSHA scrutiny are grain bin operators after a record number of fatalities, including several involving teen workers.
BLR Safety Daily Advisor offers a two-part series on What to expect from an OSHA inspection and How to prepare for an OSHA inspection.
Learn how ESI Employee Assistance Program can help address your employees’ wellbeing issues – from a wellness benefits and help for everyday work-life matters to comprehensive assistance for a wide array of potentially disruptive issues and problems.