Top 10 OSHA Violations

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Safety is not my forte, it is not really “my business”, but I have participated in enough executive committee meetings to know how important it is – and how it really should be “everyone’s business”.

oshalogo1As I was pursing OSHA’s website, I came across The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupation and Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) release of 2012’s top 10 workplace violations. As the top violations, they are likely trends you will find in your own facility or with your contracted facility service company.  Here is a detailed list, and brief explanation as to why you as a facility or property manager should assure that the services you outsource (commercial cleaning services, construction services, handyman or maintenance services etc….) are in compliance with the law:

  1. Fall protection: According to OSHA, “Falls are among the most hook
    common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths.”  OSHA lists a total of 7,250 violations in 2012. These infractions include failure to:

    1. guard floor holes.
    2. provide guard rail and toe-boards around elevated platforms or roofs.
    3. provide harness and line, safety nets or stair railings.
  2. Hazard Communication: OSHA lists 4,696 infractions. Infractions hazardinclude failure to provide labels and safety data sheets for exposed workers.
  3. Scaffolding: There were 3,814 total scaffolding violations. These scaffoldingviolations fall mostly in the scaffolding construction and in providing sufficient guard railing. According to training provided on the OSHA’s website, important scaffolding standards include:
    1. 10 foot trigger height for fall protection on scaffolds.
    2. 36 inch minimum guardrail height where fall arrest systems are primary fall protection.
    3. 38 inch minimum guardrail height where guardrail is primary fall protection.
    4. Provides for use of cross-bracing as guardrail under certain conditions, in lieu of either a mid-rail or a top-rail.
    5. Requires after 1 year, that competent person determines feasibility of providing fall protection for built-up scaffold erectors and dismantlers.
  4. Respiratory protection: 2,371 total respiratory violations. man-in-maskAccording to OSHA, “An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in about 1.3 million workplaces.”  Respirators should be worn when there is any risk of insufficient oxygen or exposure to harmful dust, fog, smoke, mist, gas, vapor, or spray.
  5. Ladders: There were 2,310 ladder violations. The violations included damaged side rails, use of the top ladder step, inappropriate ladder for the job and excessive loads.
  6. Machine guarding: 2,097 violations. Moving machine parts can lead to crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers. Any machine part, function or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. Common violations include:
    1. exposure to blades.
    2. no anchoring of fixed machinery.
    3. lack of safeguards leading to point-of-operation exposure.
  7. Powered industrial trucks: 1,993 violations. Powered industrial trucks include vehicles like forklifts or lift truck and tuggers. Most violations come from inadequate operator training and truck condition. Injuries most often occur when:
    1. lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks.
    2. lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer.
    3. workers are struck by lift truck.
    4. workers fall while on elevated pallets and tines
  8. Electrical wiring: 1,744 violations. Most common infractions are poor use of extension cords and use of temporary wiring for permanent wiring.
  9. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout): 1,572 violations. Most violations come from inadequate energy controls and work training. Other violations include failure to audit lockout/tagout procedures and controls. OSHA recommends employers should do the following to ensure workers are protected form hazardous energy:
    1. Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program.
    2. Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program.
    3. Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out.
    4. Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
    5. Develop, document, implement, and enforce energy control procedures.
    6. Use only lockout/tagout devices authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, standardized, and substantial.
    7. Ensure that lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users.
    8. Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a lockout/tagout device to remove it.
    9. Inspect energy control procedures at least annually.
    10. Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by the standard.
  10. General Electrical: 1,332 violations. Common violations includes exposure to electrical shock and electrocution.

For more information, go to OSHA’s website at

Marc Collings

Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Varsity Facility Services
Marc Collings is Varsity's Vice President of Marketing for Varsity Facility Services. Marc oversees the company's growth, branding, positioning, customer support and analytics. In this role, he has positioned the company as a customer solutions leader for lowering cost and improving quality. He also led the company-wide rebranding and strategically positioned the company as a sustainability leader, serving on a committee for the EPA, obtaining the Ashkin Group award for sustainable leadership, leading Varsity's CIMS Green Building certification with honors, and developing Varsity's S.H.A.P.E. sustainability strategy, which improves service results along five dimensions: Safety, Health, Asset Preservation, Productivity and the Environment.

In 2011, Marc's team won the large company category, "Best in the Industry" marketing materials from the Building Service Contractor Association International (BSCAI). Marc also directs Varsity's proposal writing, sales process and tools development, marketing campaigns, corporate website SEO performance and customer support center.

Marc has spent his career developing strategic capabilities that enhance value to customers and the company. A Lean Sigma Green belt himself, he developed the company's Lean Sigma offering, providing an innovative solution to customers' need to lower cost while raising quality. He led the development of JanOPS, an industry-leading janitorial operating system, which brings standardization and service consistency to large campus and geographically disperse national accounts.

Prior to this position, Marc was responsible for strategic management at Varsity. He has initiated or directed multiple strategic technology initiatives, ranging from a corporate website, a corporate intranet, a web/smartphone based quality control system, a learning management system, a corporate content manager and knowledge wiki, deployment and customization, and an Android app which facilitates the GROW sales process he has developed.

Marc is the author of several leadership and management training manuals, field guides, marketing collateral and case studies. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish and holds a bachelor degree in English/Technical Writing and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Idaho State University. Marc enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and golf. He is happily married, and he and his wife Victoria enjoy raising and spending time with their four children.

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