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OSHA: Top 10 Violations in 2016 and the New Fines Associated with Them

Under the U.S. OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their workers. Below is the most updated list of Top 10 OSHA citations released earlier this month from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the 2016 fiscal year which ended on September 30. The list is compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

One notable thing regarding the OSHA’s annual list is that it has not changed by much year-to-year. OSHA inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury – including your place of employment.

Over 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and roughly 3 million workers are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers in accordance with the requirements of the OSH Act.

2016 Top Ten List of OSHA Violations

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

The top 10 list of violations for 2016 is far from inclusive. OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which jeopardize and expose employees to unsafe health and safety practices.

What Happens If A Violation Is Found?  What Are The Fines?

In November 2015, Congress passed legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The Department of Labor has adjusted penalties for its agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The new penalties took effect August 2, 2016. Any citations issued by OSHA on or after this date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Type of Violation Before August 2, 2016, Maximum Penalty Current Maximum Penalty
Serious
Other-Than-Serious
Posting Requirements
$7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation

In our audit and accident investigation practices here at IFO Group, we frequently see many of the same violations as found on OSHA’s list but we put a lot more focus on identifying risks and hazards that sometimes aren’t quite as easy to identify.   Here is our own “Top 10” list of risks and hazards likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities as compiled from our own experiences in the last year.

IFO Group’s 2016 Top Ten List

  1. Control of Hazardous Energy / Permit to Work
  2. Process Safety Management
  3. Workplace Violence
  4. Fall Protection
  5. Electrical
  6. Worker Fatigue
  7. Machine Guarding
  8. Road Transportation
  9. Contractor Management
  10. Fire and Explosion

Reach out to us for a no-obligation phone consultation regarding how we could help you with an audit and assessment of your work environment – regardless of whether it is a chemical plant, refinery, offshore platform or one of the other countless other work environments out there – we can help.  We tailor our approach to client needs and rely upon a collaborative approach based on our strong belief that audits and assessments shouldn’t be punitive in nature, but rather an opportunity for continuous improvement that helps prevent the next major incident.

We have many additional resources, including a wealth of additional information on our website and you can sign up to receive regular updates and informative information to help you remain proactively manage risks to your organization.

Once we are retained for a project our clients can expect communication early and often from their assigned auditor with the goal of delivering clear and well-written reports with appropriate references.

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