“Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety”


Every October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the 2016 fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. Year after year, our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury.

More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline.

Consider this 2016 list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously.

We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprit here. Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.

Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial trucksafety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment.

Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known.

Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive. OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale. To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces.

We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs.

Thomas Galassi is the director of enforcement programs for OSHA.

“OSHA Announces Feral Cats Are Not Vermin”


On October 4, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a press release and announced that it was proposing changes to 18 separate regulations “as part of an ongoing effort to revise provisions in its standards that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary.

The proposals run across a wide spectrum from the technical (i.e., allowing ex-rays to be maintained in digital format); to the procedural (i.e., making the process safety management standard the same for construction and general industry); to the completely understandable (i.e., eliminating any uses of employee social security numbers in exposure monitoring); to the somewhat odd (i.e., eliminating feral cats from the definition of “vermin” in the shipyard equipment regulation).

On the last point, the agency press release noted that “OSHA recognizes that feral cats pose a minor, if any, threat, and tend to avoid human contact, and OSHA proposes to remove the term ‘feral cats’ from the definition of vermin in the standard.”  The deadline for submitting comments to any of the proposals is December 5, 2016.

OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project, Proposed Revisions
October 2016

Reporting job-related hearing loss

OSHA recordkeeping regulations require employers to record and report occupational injuries and illnesses. The proposed revision codifies current enforcement policy and clarifies that a determination whether an employee’s hearing loss is “work-related” must be made using specific, clear criteria, which are also set out in OSHA regulations.

Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)

The proposed revision clarifies employers’ duties under the lockout/tagout standard. The existing general industry standard requires protections against the “unexpected energization” of machinery during servicing. The proposed revision to remove the term “unexpected” reflects OSHA’s original intent and eliminates confusion regarding applicability of the standard.

Chest X-Ray (CXR) Requirements

The proposed revision removes the requirement for periodic CXR in the standards for inorganic arsenic, coke oven emissions, and acrylonitrile to make OSHA’s requirement consistent with current medical practices and reduce employer burden and paperwork.

X-Ray Storage

The proposed revision permits storage of x-rays in digital formats. OSHA adopted the existing requirement for storage of x-ray film before the existence of digital x-ray and storage technology.

Lung-function testing

The proposed revisions update the lung-function testing (spirometry) requirements for the cotton dust standard to make them consistent with current medical practices and technology.

Feral Cats

Existing requirements in the sanitation standard for Shipyard Employment specify that employers must maintain workplaces in a manner that prevents vermin infestation. OSHA recognizes that feral cats pose a minor, if any, threat, and tend to avoid human contact, and OSHA proposes to remove the term “feral cats” from the definition of vermin in the standard.

911 Emergency Services at Worksites

Existing construction regulations require employers to conspicuously post telephone numbers for ambulances, etc. at worksites located in areas where 911 emergency dispatch services are not available. The proposed revision updates this requirement to reflect the predominance of the use of cellular telephones at construction sites and the widespread adoption of 911 emergency dispatch services. The proposed revision requires the posting of location information at worksites in areas that do not have Enhanced 911 (which automatically supplies the caller’s location information to the dispatcher).

Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)

The proposed revisions to the construction PELs requirements are corrections and clarifications to make this standard consistent with other OSHA PELs standards.

Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals

To avoid unnecessary duplication, OSHA proposes to replace the entire thirty-one pages of regulatory text for the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM) Standard for construction with a cross reference to the identical general industry standard.

Personal Protective Equipment

Ensuring that personal protective equipment (PPE) properly fits each employee is essential to employees’ protection. The proposed revision to require employers to select PPE that properly fits each employee clarifies the construction PPE requirements and makes them consistent with general industry requirements.

Lanyard/lifeline Break Strength

The proposed revision standardizes break-strength requirements for lanyards and lifelines throughout the construction and general industry standards.

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

The proposed revisions update and clarify the provisions related to traffic signs and devices, flaggers, and barricades to align with current DOT requirements. This removes the burden on construction employers, who have sought this change, to follow multiple sets of regulations for OSHA, DOT, and state and local governments.

Load Limit Postings

The proposed revision exempts single family dwellings from a requirement to post maximum safe-load limits for floors in buildings under construction, reducing a burden for residential builders. The existing OSHA standard requires posting in residential dwellings where safe-load limits are rarely, if ever, an issue, thus eliminating a paperwork burden for construction employers.

Excavation Hazards

The proposed revision clarifies employers’ duties in the excavation standard. The proposed revision clarifies that a hazard is presumed to exist when loose rock or soil and excavated material or equipment is beside a trench.

MSHA Underground Construction – Diesel Engines

Existing regulatory language requires that mobile diesel-powered equipment used underground comply with outdated Mine Safety Health Administration’s (MSHA) provisions. The proposed revision updates the regulatory language to cross-reference to the revised MSHA provisions.

Underground Construction

The proposed revision replaces outdated decompression tables used to protect employees working in pressurized underground construction sites. The proposal allows employers to use the modern French decompression tables.

Rollover Protective Structures

The proposed revision replaces the outdated construction standard with references to the appropriate consensus standards.

Regulation of coke oven emissions in construction

The proposed revision removes the regulation of coke oven emissions provisions from the construction standards. Any work during operation of coke ovens is general industry work, and the standard does not fit construction work.

Collection of Social Security Numbers

The proposed revision comprehensively removes from general industry, construction, and maritime standards all requirements to include an employee’s social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records in order to protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud.

For more information, read the news release.

“OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard To Add Two Additional Fit-Testing Protocols”

OSHA Trade ReleaseDOL Logo

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
For Immediate Release


October 6, 2016
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA proposes to amend respiratory protection standard to add
two additional fit-testing protocols

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to add two quantitative fit-testing protocols to the agency’s Respiratory Protection Standard. The protocols would apply to employers in the general, shipyard and construction industries.

Appendix A of the standard contains mandatory respirator fit-testing methods that employers must use to ensure their employees’ respirators fit properly and protect the wearer. The standard also allows individuals to submit new fit-test protocols for OSHA approval. TSI Incorporated submitted an application for new protocols for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators, and filtering facepiece respirators.

The existing standard contains mandatory testing methods to ensure that employees’ respirators fit properly and are protective. The standard also states that additional fit-test protocols may be submitted for OSHA approval. TSI Incorporated submitted an application for new protocols for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators, and filtering facepiece respirators. The proposed protocols are variations of the existing OSHA-accepted PortaCount® protocol, but differ from it by the exercise sets, exercise duration, and sampling sequence.

The agency invites the public to comment on the accuracy and reliability of the proposed protocols, their effectiveness in detecting respirator leakage, and their usefulness in selecting respirators that will protect employees from airborne contaminants in the workplace. More specific issues for public comment are listed in the Federal Register notice.

Individuals may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted by mail or facsimile; see the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 6, 2016.

This proposed rulemaking would allow employers greater flexibility in choosing fit-testing methods for employees. The proposed rule would not require an employer to update or replace current fit-testing methods, as long as the fit-testing method(s) currently in use meet existing standards. The proposal also would not impose additional costs on any private- or public-sector entity.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

“Miller Fall Protection Safety Webinar” & “Fall Clearance Calculator App”

Miller Fall Protection Webinar

When working at height, it is important to know your fall clearance and swing fall, whether using a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. Calculating your fall clearance and swing fall is critical to your safety. The Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App gives workers who work at heights, the ability to quickly calculate the required fall clearance for Shock Absorbing Lanyards and Self-Retracting Lifelines, including swing fall.

Download the New Miller Fall Clearance Calculator App by Honeywell : Download link – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/miller-fall-clearance-calculator/id971198656?mt=8

Miller Fall App

“What Do You Really Need In Your First Aid Kit?”

First Aid Cabinet

First Aid Cabinet

When it comes to first-aid kits, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not a micro-manager.

The agency doesn’t tell you what supplies to include in your kit or even how many kits you should have. OSHA only says at 29 CFR 1910.151(b), that “adequate first-aid supplies shall be readily available.”

OSHA, in a 2007 letter of interpretation (LOI), tells you that “If the employer has persons who are trained in first aid, then adequate first-aid supplies must be readily available for use.”

What does OSHA mean by “adequate” supplies? The LOI went on to explain that “employers are required to provide first-aid supplies that are most appropriate to respond to incidents at their workplaces.” The most appropriate supplies can be different for each work-site.

Which begs the question, what does “most appropriate” mean?

Review your OSHA logs and reports

To determine the supplies and the amounts that are “most appropriate” for your workplace, you can review your OSHA 300 logs of injuries and Illnesses and your 301 incident reports. You can also seek the advice of your medical professional, or you can consult the local fire and rescue service or emergency medical services.

Appendix A to §1910.151 refers employers to the American National Standard (ANSI) Z308.1-1998 “Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits,” saying the contents of the kit listed in the ANSI standard should be adequate for small worksites. For larger operations or multiple operations, employers should determine the need for additional kits, additional types of first-aid equipment and supplies, and additional quantities and types of supplies and equipment in the kits.

When stocking your kit, keep in mind the number of employees who may use the kit, and make sure it is easy to access.

While OSHA does not prohibit employers from locking up first-aid supplies, a lock cannot keep the first aid supplies from being “readily available.” Because a lock may limit accessibility in an emergency situation, employers who secure first-aid supplies need to train employees on how to access those supplies, and must ensure that someone is always available to provide access to the supplies.

First-aid kits might not be enough

It some cases, first-aid kits aren’t enough to meet OSHA’s requirement to provide medical supplies that match the hazards of the workplace. For instance, OSHA’s standards for logging operations, permit-required confined spaces, and electric power generation, transmission, and distribution require training in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for certain employees.

In addition, §1910.151(c) requires you to provide “suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body” when employees may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials.

Some state-plan states may have slightly different or more stringent requirements than those of federal OSHA. In California, CalOSHA requires that a physician approves the contents of workplace first-aid kits. If you are in a state-plan state, be sure to check your state’s requirements.

OSHA also refers to ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2014 as an additional, but not a mandatory guide for First Aid Kits and types as noted  in the link here: https://is.gd/m2zBGf



“MSHA Awards $1 Million Dollars In 2016 Brookwood-Sago Training Grants”

Funding will foster mine rescue training, mine emergency preparedness

ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today it has awarded $1 million to six organizations to develop training programs and materials that support mine rescue and mine emergency preparedness for underground mines.

A provision in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago grant program to promote mine safety while honoring the 25 men who died in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine, and in Buchannon, West Virginia, in 2006 at the Sago Mine.

The recipients of the 2016 grants are as follows:

–The Colorado School of Mines in Golden is receiving $240,024 in funding to provide quality training to mine rescue teams. The training will focus on enhancing the knowledge and skills for mine rescue teams and incident command staff in the areas of technical rescue, communications and decision making during mine emergencies.

Rend Lake College in Ina, Illinois, is receiving $133,240 in funding to provide training to mine rescue officials and mine rescue teams, with a focus on mine fire brigade training and increased preparedness for those participating for mine emergencies.

–The Colorado Department of Natural Resources in Denver is receiving $217,877 in funding to provide advanced mine rescue skills training for all underground mines and mine emergency prevention in Colorado.

–The University of Arizona in Tucson is receiving $187,054 in funding to improve self-escape skills in response to underground mine emergency events by use of virtual reality gaming.

–The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy in Big Stone Gap is receiving $50,000 in funding to develop training materials and provide training on mine emergency preparedness and mine emergency prevention.

West Virginia University in Morgantown is receiving $171,805 in funding to foster the development and implementation of enhanced and realistic mine rescue training exercises that combine the efforts and abilities of a mine rescue team and fire brigade responding to a simulated coal mine fire emergency and locating missing personnel.

# # #

Media Contact:

Amy Louviere, 202-693-9423, louviere.amy@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-1974-NAT

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