Food for Thought: Top 10 Construction Violations that OSHA Cites

by David V. Dow on February 8, 2012

You don't need OSHA to tell you that this is crazy. A huge collapse just waiting to happen.

Are You Guilty of Any of the Following?

OSHA recently released a list of the most frequent construction violations they cited between October 2010 and September 2011. For the first time in many years, fall protection has taken the lead as the most frequently cited standard, replacing scaffolding. But scaffolding comes in a close second.

Here are the rankings:

1. Fall Protection – See OSHA Standard 1926.501

    • Required for fall distances of six feet or greater (railings, nets, personal fall arrest systems)
    • Training

2. Scaffolding – See 1926.451

    • Competent Person
    • Footings
    • Cross Braces
    • Access
    • Fall Protection
    • Platform (planking)

3. Ladders – See 1926.1053

    • Use for the intended purpose
    • Three points of contact
    • Properly installed
    • Extend three feet above landing
    • Training

4. Fall protection training – See 1926.503

    • Trained by a Competent Person
    • Nature of fall hazards
    • Use of fall protection

5. Hazard communication – See 1910.1200

6. Head protection – See 1910.100

7. General safety and health provisions – See 1926.20

    • Frequent and regular inspections made by a Competent Person

8. Aerial lifts – See 1926.453

    • Used as intended
    • Fall protection (harness and lanyard)

9. Eye and face protection – See 1926.102

10. Specific excavation requirements – See 1926.651

    • Spoil pile two feet from edge
    • No water in excavation
    • Ladder within 25 feet of workers

Trenches and excavations almost always make the “Top 10 List” of violations. OSHA continues with its national emphasis program for trenches and excavations. Compliance Officers are required to inspect all trenches and excavations they see.

Want More Info On the Excavation Emphasis Program?

CLICK HERE to reach the OSHA web site about the program, which began in 1985.

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