OSHA recently released its preliminary annual list of the top ten safety and health violations cited for fiscal year 2016. While not anticipated to change much, a more final list will be completed closer to the end of 2016.  In descending order, these are:

  1. Fall protection (Construction)1926.501 – violations are generally for failing to provide adequate fall protection to employees working at elevated heights.
  2. Hazard communication1910.1200 – violations are generally for lack of hazard communication program or inadequate training.
  3. Scaffolds (Construction)1926.451 – violations are generally for improper access to scaffolds and improper assembly, such a missing planking.
  4. Respiratory protection1910.134 – violations are generally for employees using respirators not being medically evaluated or properly fit tested.
  5. Lockout/tagout1910.147 – violations are generally for failing to have a machine specific LOTO procedure, not training authorized or affected employees and for failing to conduct periodic inspections of LOTO procedures.
  6. Powered industrial trucks1910.178 – violations are generally for failing to have forklift operators certified and unsafe use of a forklift.
  7. Ladders (Construction)1926.153– violations are generally for improper use of portable ladders and use of defective ladders.
  8. Machine guarding1910.212 – violations are generally for failing to have machines and equipment adequately guarded.
  9. Electrical wiring1910.305 – violation are generally for temporary wiring used in lieu of permanent wiring and inappropriate use of extension (flexible) cords.
  10. Electrical, general requirements1910.303 – violations are generally for failing to install electrical equipment properly or for having electrical panels blocked.

This list does not change significantly year-to-year. Over the past five years, the same violations have made the list with only slight variations in the order.  Although OSHA points out that this list is not an exhaustive list of the violations it sees, it believes that “[i]f all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline.”

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Photo of Tressi L. Cordaro Tressi L. Cordaro

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state…

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested citations, reserving litigation as the option if the client’s business objectives cannot otherwise be achieved. As a result, she has secured OSHA withdrawals of citations without the need for litigation.

Ms. Cordaro’s unique experience with government agencies involved in OSHA enforcement enables her to provide employers with especially insightful guidance as to how regulators view OSHA compliance obligations, and evaluate contested cases.

Ms. Cordaro served as the Presidentially-appointed Legal Counsel and Special Advisor to the past Chairman and Commissioner Horace A. Thompson, III at the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) in Washington, DC, the agency that adjudicates contested federal OSHA citations. As the Commissioner’s chief counsel, Ms. Cordaro analyzed all cases presented to the OSHRC and advocated the Commissioner’s position during decisional meetings.

In addition, Ms. Cordaro worked at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration developing OSHA standards, regulations and enforcement and compliance policies, with emphasis on the construction industry. She has in-depth experience on technical issues including, in particular, issues related to cranes and derricks in construction.