Last week OSHA released the preliminary numbers for the top ten violations. The data includes violations from October 1, 2018-August 31, 2019 and is not final, but most likely will resemble the final numbers. I am going to take the top ten violations, one each post and address some issues and best practices in an effort to help employers reduce these violations.
The most cited violation was, as it has been for several years, Fall Protection(construction) under the general requirements of 29 C.F.R. 1926.501. Fall Protections in construction resulted in over 6000 citations, almost double the second most cited standard. Residential single-family housing contractors, roofing contractors and framing contractors remain targets of these citations.
Fall protection requires an overall plan to address individual hazards on a project. It is important that any fall protection plan addresses the fall hazards in the work area. This requires a work area specific assessment, not a general job assessment. Once the assessment is made, identify the equipment that will be used, train employees on the use of the equipment, understand proper maintenance, storage and replacement of the equipment and make all of the information available to employees. Having a fall protection plan in place and not training and making the plan available is ineffective.
If you don’t know where or how to start, OSHA provides guidance and even sample fall protection programs for use by residential contractors.
It is going to take a concerted effort of the construction industry, employers, employees and everyone on the job site, to reduce the number of citations for fall protection.