OSHA recently published the top ten most cited violation list and fall protection violations lead the list once again. Also staying on the list are Scaffolding and Ladders. Failure to comply with these three standards, Subpart M, Subpart L, and Subpart X is rampant in the residential construction industry. Falls continue to be the number one cause of construction deaths and disabling injuries in the country. This continued trend is causing OSHA to focus much of their enforcement efforts on the residential construction industry.
List of 2014 10 Most Cited Standards
- Fall Protection (Construction)
- Hazard Communication
- Scaffolding (Construction)
- Respiratory Protection
- Powered Industrial Trucks
- Lock out Tagout
- Ladders (Construction)
- Electrical, Wiring Methods
- Machine Guarding
- Electrical General requirements
In the past year I have personally helped and trained hundreds of contractors on fall protection. Many asked me to train them as a result of being fined, injured or knowing someone who was fined or injured. Very few came to the training because they were interested in learning how to comply.
Lack of compliance continues to be a huge issue with most residential contractors and OSHA is taken notice. The chances of getting caught working unsafe is going up exponentially. The agency is very active encouraging people to report contractors who work unsafe. Under the current administration whistle blowing is the preferred enforcement mechanism in lieu of education. Millions of dollars formerly dedicated to education is now being allocated to the whistle blowing effort.
Take a look at the published violations on the data and statistics page and you will see hundreds of complaints and referrals as the way OSHA was informed of the work site. I am told by many contractors that they call whenever they see a contractor not using fall protection. These contractors tell me they call because they carry the cost of training and equipment and are sick and tired of losing work to those who don't!
I believe that the most important reason to provide training and equipment is to keep your workers safe. Unfortunately many residential contractors wait until they are fined or someone is hurt to provide training and equipment.
The best way to prevent injuries and deaths and avoid OSHA fines is to be proactive by training your workers and providing the right equipment.
In a recent training for a Lumber Yard a contractor student told the class that he wished he had trained his workers before one was seriously injured. I asked him why he waited until one of his workers was hurt. He replied "I really did not think that something like this would happen on my job and I did not have the money to train my men and buy the right equipment"
If you are a contractor and need help with fall protection training contact us.
We also help lumberyards, material suppliers and trade associations provide training for their contractor clients and members.