What are OSHA Violations?

What are OSHA Violations?

What Are OSHA Violations?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays an important role in setting and enforcing standards to protect workers from hazards on the job. However, despite OSHA's efforts, violations of safety regulations still happen in workplaces across the country. In this blog, we'll explore what constitutes an OSHA violation and the many different types of violations that exist.

What Is an OSHA Violation? 

An OSHA violation occurs when a company or employee intentionally or unintentionally ignores a potential safety hazard, either with or without an incident, accident, or job site injury. These violations can range from minor technical infractions to serious health threats like unsafe wiring or poor ventilation and can occur with or without an incident, accident, or job site injury. There are six types of OSHA violations, categorized as:

  • De minimis

  • Other-than-serious

  • Failure to abate

  • Serious

  • Willful

  • Repeated

The main way OSHA enforces its regulations and standards is through inspections. 

What Are the Most Common OSHA Violations? 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks injuries and job-related fatalities. They operate as an agency under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and provide statistical guidance and support. Their work is conducted independently, so all data and analyses are “objective and free of partisan influence.” 

During 2022, the BLS statistics reported that 5,486 workers died of “on-the-job injuries,” a 5.7% increase from 2021. Also, employers reported 2.8 million incidents of illness and injuries, an increase of 7.5% from 2021.

The most frequently cited OSHA standard violations in 2022 were: 

  1. Fall Protection - General Requirements: 5,260 violations

  2. Hazard Communication: 2,424 violations

  3. Respiratory Protection: 2,185 violations

  4. Ladders: 2,143 violations

  5. Scaffolding: 2,058 violations

  6. Lockout/Tagout: 1,977 violations

  7. Powered Industrial Trucks: 1,749 violations

  8. Fall Protection - Training: 1,556 violations

  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection: 1,401

  10. Machine Guarding: 1,370

We offer all of the OSHA Outreach courses you need and can train your employees to ensure they are safe while on the job. Click HERE to learn more about our Business Solutions. 

Looking for an OSHA Outreach course? We offer the training you need to stay safe on the job. 

What Is a Respiratory Protection Violation? 

Respiratory Protection violations have significantly increased over the last two years, making this violation rise from the No. 5 spot in 2019 to the No. 3 spot in 2022. 

Per OSHA's Respiratory Standard, violations occur when an employee can contract "occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful specks of dust, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors."

What Are Ladder Violations? 

Per OSHA, the leading cause of death for construction workers is falls from elevation. More than 80% of the work-related deaths in 2022 were caused by falls. From 680 fatalities in 2021, there was a 2.9% increase in this number. Ladders are frequently misused tools, causing workplace injuries or deaths. To prevent accidents, employees should be aware of potential hazards like reaching too far, carrying items, using unsecured ladders, delivering tools, using metal ladders near electrical wires, exceeding the weight limit, placing the ladder on uneven surfaces, and using boxes or pallets under the ladder.

With proper ladder training and safety procedures in place, employers have seen a drastic reduction in workplace-related injuries. OSHA has specific standards for loads and required provisions for different types of ladders. 

Learn more about AdvanceOnline Ladder Training

What Are Scaffolding Violations? 

First, let’s talk about what scaffolding is and why it’s one of the most common and deadly violations. A scaffold is an elevated, temporary work platform. There are two types of scaffolding: supported scaffolds and suspended scaffolds. Violations, injuries, and workplace fatalities occur when either the planking or support gives way, slippery surfaces, the lack of fall protection, or being struck by a falling object. 

Did you know that OSHA estimates that 2.3 million construction workers (more than 65% of the construction industry) work on scaffolding frequently? That means more than $90 million dollars are lost in work days due to scaffolding injuries. 

Learn more about AdvanceOnline Scaffolding Training for Construction.

All of this and more is covered in OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, OSHA 10-Hour Construction, and OSHA 30-Hour Construction.

What is a Powered Industrial Truck Violation? 

Actually, the most common question regarding "power industrial trucks" is, what is a power industrial truck? Simply answered: forklift, tractor, or platform lift truck. Per OSHA regulations and standards, only drivers with permits are supposed to operate these machines in a work environment.

Common violations of powered industrial truck safety include inadequately secured loads, tipping the lift, overloaded trucks, using the wrong powered industrial truck for terrain, traveling or parking on a grade, and hazards caused by environmental conditions. Additionally, drivers may be unaware of pedestrians in the area or carrying passengers on the forklift, making it crucial to ensure safety and prevent accidents.

Learn more about AdvanceOnline Forklift Training

Stay Compliant With AdvanceOnline

OSHA violations can have serious consequences for businesses, ranging from financial penalties to legal action and reputation damage. Understanding the types of violations and their potential consequences is essential for employers and employees alike. By prioritizing workplace safety, implementing effective safety measures, and staying informed about OSHA regulations, businesses can minimize the risk of violations and create a safer and healthier work environment for everyone.

The best way to do this is by enrolling in safety and compliance courses provided by AdvanceOnline. We offer everything from OSHA Outreach to HAZWOPER and NYC SST training programs. Check out our full catalog and avoid OSHA violations today!

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