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10 Most Common OSHA Violations in 2017

OSHA recently released its 10 most frequently cited violations in 2017.

  1. Fall protection: 6,072 citations—Falls from ladders and roofs still account for the majority of injuries at work, and the first step in eliminating or reducing falls is to identify all hazards and decide how to best protect employees.
  2. Hazard communication: 4,176 citations—This standard governs hazard communication to employees about chemicals that are both produced or imported into the workplace. Most violations concern the failure to develop a written hazard training program or failure to provide a Safety Data Sheet for all workplace chemicals.
  3. Scaffolding: 3,288 citations—The vast majority of scaffold accidents can be attributed to planking or support giving way. Employers should ensure that all scaffolding is set up and inspected by a qualified employee before it’s used.
  4. Respiratory protection: 3,097 citations—Employers must establish and maintain a respiratory inspection program to protect employees from oxygen-deficient atmospheres and hazardous materials.
  5. Lockout/tagout: 2,877 citations—Employees who service mechanical and electrical equipment face the greatest risk of injury if logout/tagout standards aren’t properly followed.
  6. Ladders: 2,241 citations—Most ladder violations occur when ladders are used for purposes other than those designated by the manufacturer, when they aren’t used on stable surfaces or when defective ladders aren’t taken out of service.
  7. Powered industrial trucks: 2,162 citations—Many employees are injured when lift trucks or forklifts are driven off of loading docks or when they fall between docks and unsecured trailers.
  8. Machine guarding: 1,933 citations—Machine parts can cause serious injuries, but the risk is substantially reduced by installing and maintaining proper machine guards.
  9. Fall protection training requirements: 1,523 citations—Employees should be trained to use fall protection methods such as guardrails, safety nets and personal fall arrest systems, and employers should verify that employees have been trained by preparing written certification records.
  10. Electrical wiring methods: 1,405 citations—The most common electrical wiring violations include failure to install equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions and failure to guard electrical equipment.

Electronic Reporting

OSHA’s final rule on electronic reporting requires certain employers to submit data from their injury and illness records electronically. Affected establishments must use the agency’s Injury Tracking Application to submit information from their OSHA 300A Forms. Originally, the first reporting deadline was set for July 1, 2017, but after a series of delays, OSHA extended the first reporting deadline to Dec. 15, 2017. However, OSHA will accept electronic reports until Dec. 31, 2017, without imposing any penalties.

The following is a summary of important reporting deadlines:

  • Dec 31, 2017—Deadline for employers to submit injury and illness data from 2016.
  • July 1, 2018—Deadline for employers to submit injury and illness data from 2017.
  • March 2 (2019 and beyond)—Deadline for employers to submit injury and illness data from the previous calendar year.

Not all employers and establishments are required to submit records electronically. Here are the requirements for the final rule:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to keep injury and illness records must electronically submit information from their OSHA 300A, 300 and 301 Forms (only 300A for the first reporting year).
  • Establishments with between 20 to 249 employees that are part of a high-risk industry group must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.

What You Need To Do

Step 1: Audit Your Logs

If you haven’t already, AUDIT YOUR LOGS. Since this data will be used to gauge your industry’s safety performance in almost real time, it’s very important that your information is accurate. Recording only the right events can be difficult at times. If you’re trying to decide if an event is recordable or not, use the tool at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 2: Submit Your Logs

Once you’re confident that your logs are accurate, it’s time to submit. Here’s a quick step by step on how to do that:

  1. Navigate to and launch the OSHA ITA portal. You can find this portal here https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/ita/
  2. Create an account by selecting the link above the log in box (if you haven’t already done so) https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/ita/create-account
  3. Once an account has been created, and you have agreed with the terms and conditions, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address you supplied. Click the confirmation link on this email.
  4. Then return to the log in page and log back in. Once logging in you will be prompted to create a password. This will bring you to the ITA dash board.
  5. You will then need to decide if a manual upload or batch upload will work best for your organization and select the blue button that corresponds with your choice. Manual upload would be ideal for organizations with one or two establishments. Batch may be better if there are multiple establishments. (establishments are determined by physical addresses)
Manual Upload
  1. If you choose manual, you will need to go through and create establishments for each location that has 20 or more employees and is not in a state-run OSHA program that has not adopted this final rule.
  2. Once you create and save the required establishments you will then be taken to the view establishment page. Once here, select the blue button that reads “Add 300A Summary"
  3. This selection brings you to the Add 300A Summary page. Enter in all the required information from your 2016 300A form and select save. This brings you back to the view establishments page
  4. Once on the view establishment page, review the data entered for accuracy. If accurate you can then select “Submit 300A Data” and you have successfully submitted your 300A information
Batch Upload
  1. Selecting the batch upload button brings you to the Upload Batch File page. Locate the CSV template link under step 1 and open up the CSV template.
  2. Once you have opened the template you will then be able to populate your data off of the 2016 300A form. (Each line of the template is designated for a separate establishment that has 20 or more employees)
  3. Once your information has been audited for accuracy, save the document as a CSV formatted file.
  4. Go back to the Upload Batch File page, select choose file and select your saved CSV file, agree to the terms, and click upload. Once completed you have successfully uploaded your 300A information.

Again, only report what you have too. If you're unsure what to record, download the spreadsheet below for a comprehensive guide.

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Topics: Construction Transportation Safety / Compliance Manufacturing