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Common OSHA Violations in Construction

Everybody knows that any worker working in any kind of field might be injured at their place of work, but, there are some specific organization and industries which possess higher risks than others. That is the reason, the federal agency OSHA in charge of developing and implementing safety regulations in order to protect employees from work-related accidents and injuries. They keeps track of total number of citations occur in different standards. This may help in reviewing the most frequent OSHA violations. However, in this comprehensive guide, you will read the OSHA violations list of 2021 and 2022 and also overview why these violations are dangerous. 

The Common OSHA Violations Handed Out In 2021:

  • Fall Protection General Requirements – 5,295 Violations
  • Fall Protection Training Requirements – 1,666 Violations
  • Improper Hazard Communication –1,948 Violations
  • Respiratory Protection – 2,527 Violations
  • Ladders – 2,026 Violations
  • Scaffolding – 1,948 Violations
  • Lockout/Tagout Citations – 1,698 Violations
  • Powered Industrial Trucks/Forklifts – 1,420 Violations
  • Personal Protective Equipment – 1,452 Violations
  • Machine Guarding – 1,113 Violations

The OSHA Violations Handed Out In 2022:

  • Fall Protection General Requirements – 5,260 Violations
  • Fall Protection Training Requirements – 1,556 Violations
  • Improper Hazard Communication –2,424 Violations
  • Respiratory Protection – 2,185 Violations
  • Ladders – 2,143 Violations
  • Scaffolding – 2,058Violations
  • Lockout/Tagout Citations – 1,977 Violations
  • Powered Industrial Trucks/Forklifts – 1,749Violations
  • Personal Protective Equipment – 1,401 Violations
  • Machine Guarding – 1,370 Violations

Most Common OSHA Violations List to Know

OSHA publishes a list of top violations that inspectors issues every year related to workplace safety code infractions. However, these citations are released because administration wants firms to implement workplace reforms to protect their employees from significant injuries and death.

According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, “Recordkeeping is a valuable tool that provides a road map to where and why injuries and illnesses occur and where improvements are needed.”

  • Fall Protection 

Fall protections consistently become one of the top violations in construction. In 2021 and 2022, OSHA issued thousands of citations related to fall protection with fines ranging from millions of dollars. The most common cause of this citation is failure to provide appropriate fall protection guidelines, equipment, guardrails, and safety nets, or failure to establish and implement a fall protection plan.

Accidents resulting from falls hold the highest fatality rate within the construction sector. Due to lack of proper fall protection techniques, workers exposes to the risk of severe injuries and death. Falling from heights may result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries with life-threatening consequences for workers and their families.

  • Improper Hazard Communication 

OSHA also frequently cites construction companies for hazard communication violations. These citations include failing to provide proper labeling for hazardous chemicals, not maintaining safety data sheets, and inadequate employee training. 

Hazard communication is vital to ensure that workers are aware of dangerous situations so they can easily encounter them on their working sites. The majority of employees fail to communicate the hazardous situation effectively, which may lead to accidental exposure to toxic chemicals, fires, and explosions. Proper labeling and safety training are essential.

  • Respiratory Protection 

OSHA frequently cites construction companies for violations that are related to respiratory protection. Common issues related to these violations are: lacking in providing appropriate respirators; not providing safety training and guidelines, not conducting fit test, etc. The penalty for this violation ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

According to various resources, it has been found that the majority of Americans would like to wear respirators to get enough oxygen. In construction, workers may be exposed to harmful substances like dust, toxic gases, and fumes. So, it is essential to give them proper protection in order to reduce respiratory diseases. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers have the right respiratory gear and provide them with proper safety training.

  • Scaffolding 

Scaffolding violations are the second most common violations that consistently rank high among OSHA citations in construction. These violations may occur from inadequate bracing, improper assembly, or the use of unsafe and damaged scaffold components. 

The unsafe scaffolding poses significant risks of collapse and falls. When scaffolding fails, workers can plummet from considerable heights, leading to severe injuries and fatalities. It is essential to ensure that the maintenance of scaffolding is crucial to preventing accidents, injuries, and fatalities at construction sites.

Why These Violations Are Dangerous?

After overviewing the list of OSHA violations, you may feel overwhelmed. But the thing is each risk can be reduced or avoided if you take the right and proper precautionary measures. Undoubtedly, the violations mentioned above are dangerous for several reasons that directly jeopardize the health and safety of construction workers. As an employer, it is your ethical or legal responsibility to consider the safe working conditions for your employees.

No one can deny the hazardous impact of falls, exposure to hazardous chemicals, scaffold collapses, inadequate respiratory protection, and more that can lead to serious illnesses, injuries, and even fatalities. Apart from the human cost, such violations may also result in legal repercussions, and financial penalties, and damage the company’s reputation.

However, inappropriate safety precautions can cause delays and higher expenses in construction projects. Companies that consistently ignore safety regulations will face difficulty in attracting new and qualified employees. Moreover, they also fail to retain skilled workers who consider their safety and health first. At last, safety violations may negatively affect the overall performance of a construction organization.

To Wrap Up the Things

At last, it has been concluded that common OSHA violations are extremely dangerous due to their potential to cause severe injuries and fatalities. That is the reason, construction companies, stakeholders, and even workers must collaborate in order to improve safety standards and ensure a safer and healthy working environment for all. It is crucial for construction industry to prioritize OSHA safety training to reduce the frequency of OSHA violations & protect workers.recordkeeping is a valuable tool that provides a road map to where and why injuries and illnesses occur and where improvements are needed