When it comes to compliance, we can learn a lot by reviewing the most commonly violated regulations. This enables us to review our own operations for similar compliance issues and make corrections before OSHA comes calling. Below are the OSHA regulations that most often trigger citations, along with some practices to avoid a citation.
1. Fall protection in construction work (29 CFR 1926.501)
Consider your work area. Are there locations from which someone could fall? What sort of protection is in place to prevent a fall? Are you using appropriate equipment to stop a fall?
2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)
We must ensure that hazardous chemicals are properly labeled, consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
3. Scaffolding in Construction Work (29 CFR 1926.451)
Inspect and check daily. Take no chances. Scaffolding must be inspected by the scaffolding contractor after erection and before use. Only the scaffolding contractor may remove or allow removal of any parts.
4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134)
When you use a respirator, you must be clean-shaven. Facial hair limits the effectiveness of the face-to-face piece seal. Fit testing is also required prior to respirator use.
5. Lockout/Tagout (29 CFR 1910-147)
Lockout/Tagout is more than just putting a lock on the main electrical disconnect to a machine or part of a machine. You should always follow the lockout/tagout plan and verify that each potential hazard has been "de-energized" before starting a job.
6. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178)
Ensure that a daily lift truck inspection is completed for each lift truck prior to use. Do not use a lift truck if the checklist shows that maintenance is required.
7. Electrical Wiring, Components, Equipment (29 CFR 1910-305)
Is there any exposed wiring in your work area? Are there any open receptacles? Is all equipment properly grounded?
8. Ladders in Construction Work (29 CFR 1926-1053)
All ladders shall be inspected regularly and maintained in safe condition. Those which have developed defects must be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged as "Dangerous- Do Not Use".
9. General Machine Guarding
It is important that everyone working with or around machinery understands that no guard may be adjusted or removed. No machine should be started without guards in place. If you see that guards are missing or defective, report it to your supervisor immediately.
10. Electrical General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.303)
It is a violation to use equipment in the workplace that has been labeled or listed for home use. Never use an extension cord as a permanent connection. An extension cord must be put away at the end of each task.