- The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its preliminary list of the 10 most commonly cited violations from nearly 32,000 inspections over the past fiscal year.
- In order, the list includes: fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolds, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout, powered industrial trucks, ladders, machine guarding, electrical wiring and electrical, general requirements.
- Thomas Galassi, OSHA's director of enforcement programs, said in a blog post that he has seen this list stay mostly the same year after a year and more needs to be done. "If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline," he wrote.
According to Galassi, more than 4,500 workers are killed and about three million are injured on the job in the U.S. every year. OSHA continues to work toward reducing these numbers by announcing plans to make company injury reports public and raising fines for workplace safety violations by 78%. Yet inspectors can only cover so much ground and workplace safety violations remain all too common across many sectors.
This is a primary focus in the waste industry, which continues to have one of the highest fatality rates in the country. According to recent data from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), 98 fatalities occurred between July 2015 and June 2015 and 38 of them were workers. These grim statistics have been a major talking point in the debate over commercial waste reform in multiple cities.
While OSHA's top 10 list would likely look a little different for the waste industry exclusively, many of these common violations are recurring issues for haulers and recyclers as well. Through ongoing educational efforts the National Waste & Recycling Association, SWANA and other companies are trying to make sure workers know how to work safely and speak up when their workplace doesn't allow them to do so. At this point the majority of the industry seem to agree that responsibility for safety includes everyone up to company leaders themselves and sees this as an urgent problem to solve.