The agency, which recently revealed the list at the National Safety Council's Congress & Expo in Orlando, Fla., said the number of top 10 violations has increased nearly 30 percent over the same period in 2008.
"The sheer number of violations gives us new resolve in raising awareness about the importance of having sound safety procedures," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC.
According to OSHA, the top 10 violations this year were:
1. Scaffolding -- 9,093 violations. Scaffold accidents, the agency said, most often resulted from the planking or support giving way, from an employee slipping, or from being struck by a falling object.
2. Fall protection -- 6,771 violations. Any time a worker is at a height of 4 feet or more, he is at risk and needs to be protected. According to OSHA, fall protection must be provided at 4 feet in general industry, 5 feet in maritime work environments, and 6 feet in construction.
3. Hazard communication -- 6,378 violations. Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. They must prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazards to their customers.
4. Respiratory protection -- 3,803 violations. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. These hazards, OSHA said, may cause cancer, lung impairment, other diseases or death.
5. Lockout/tagout -- 3,321 violations. Lockout/tagout refers to practices and procedures that safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance.
6. Electrical (wiring) -- 3,079 violations. Engineers, electricians and other professionals work directly with electricity, including overhead lines, cable harnesses and circuit assemblies.
7. Ladders -- 3,072 violations. Work-related fatalities caused by falls are a serious public health problem. According to the Department of Labor, falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death.
8. Powered industrial trucks -- 2,993 violations. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks, lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer, they are struck by a lift truck, or when they fall while on elevated pallets and tines.
9. Electrical -- 2,556 violations. Individuals, such as office employees and salespeople, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to hazards.
10. Machine guarding -- 2,364 violations. Any machine part, function or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.
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December 17, 2009
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