The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enforcing workplace safety regulations and for keeping track of accidents, injuries, and violations. Recently, OSHA released its “top ten” list of the most commonly reported workplace safety violations in the past year.
At the top of the list were slip and fall accidents caused by a failure to provide basic fall protection. These included problems like walking surfaces that weren’t strong enough, edges that were not protected by guardrails, and failure to have workers use safety gear like nets or harnesses to protect them from falls. OSHA reported a total of 7,250 violations of these requirements in 2012.
Closely related to the number-one safety violation were scaffolding violations, which came in at number three, and ladder violations, which came in at number 5. Although the types of problems with scaffolding and ladders varied, both can pose serious fall risks, since the purpose of both is to lift workers up so they can reach worksites that aren’t accessible with both feet on the ground. Scaffolding problems accounted for 3,814 violations in 2012, while ladder violations added another 2,310 violations.