It’s a new year for our friends at OSHA, so it is a good time to take a look back at the leading sources of citations and fines for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Once again fall protection leads the way. Of the Top 10 most frequently cited violations for all industries, construction accounts for four. All of which relate to fall exposures in the workplace.

For the seventh year in a row 1926.501 (Subpart M) Duty to have Fall Protection, with over 6,000 violations was the most cited violation cited by OSHA. It accounts for almost 2,000 more violations than the next leading source (Hazard Communication). Also making the top 10 for the first time is 1926.503 (Subpart M) Fall Protection Training Requirements.

OSHA has taken an increased emphasis on identifying the “leading indicators” for poor fall protection compliance through citing the training aspects of Subpart M. Having a proper training program (1926.503(a)(1), ensuring proper fall protection systems are in place (1926.503 (a)(2), and proper training and retraining 1926.503 (b) & (c) are all proactive steps that employers can take to reduce the risk for fall-related incidents in the workplace.

Next on the list is 1926.451 (Subpart L) pertaining to Scaffolding with 3,288 violations. 1926.451(g)(1) Providing fall protection from a lower level was the leading specific standard cited.

Ladders (1926.1053) comes in at number six with 2,241 citations over the past year. 1926.1053(b)(1) Extending portable ladders three feet above the upper landing was the most cited specific standard related to ladders.

For the complete list of the Top 10 OSHA citations, click here.

The moral of the story is… from a compliance and injury prevention standpoint, it is imperative that employers dedicate enough time and energy towards fall-related exposures in the workplace. The good news is there are some great resources available to assist.

Below are a handful of resources to help improve fall prevention on the job site.
OSHA Main page for fall prevention.
OSHA Fall Protection in Construction Publication
OSHA Sample Fall Protection Plan
TDI Fall Protection in Construction Publication 


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