Contractor Safety Continues to Improve, but Trends Continue

09/24/2018 by Neil S. Lowenstein

Various aspects of construction are inherently unsafe. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) therefore continues to maintain focus on the construction industry in an ongoing effort to alleviate workplace incidents.

Part of that efforts includes inspection and citation for workplace safety violations. For fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017), Federal OSHA’s “Top 10” most frequently cited OHSA standards were as follows (with included regulatory reference and link to further related information available from OSHA noted for each):

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]]
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  6. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  8. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  9. Fall Protection–Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]
  10. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305) [related OSHA Safety and Health Topics page]

The Top 10 are all things that should already be addressed in contractor and project safety plans and training; but their identification by Federal OSHA as the most commonly cited violations give further reason to emphasize these items in both plans and training.

Ideally, such violations eventually become eliminated in the industry, but realistically accidents will continue to happen. Given that, prior consideration of them and incorporation into plans and training can effectively reduce their incident and, when inspections occur, demonstrate company proactiveness to have avoided such incidents.

Vandeventer Black’s Construction and Labor Practice Group attorneys are available to assist with construction site incidents and other work safety guidance matters.

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