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Keep the top safety violations in construction on the top of your mind so you have a better grasp on what in your workplace may need some more attention.

Construction Safety Violations: The Top 10 Most-Frequently Cited

Health & Safety Safety

Are you aware of the top OSHA violations? Here are the most-cited OSHA construction safety violations in the U.S.

Are you aware of the top OSHA construction safety violations? Here are the most-cited construction violations in the U.S. by the federal and state program, and what to look out for in your safety management system development and implementation. Construction-related fall protection, scaffolding and ladder safety represent three of the agency’s overall top citations for 2015 — numbers one, three and seven respectively.

Out of the 4,386 worker fatalities in private industry during 2014, 899 or 20.5 percent were related to construction, OSHA reports. This means one in five worker deaths in 2014 occurred in construction. More than one worker dies on the job every two hours — across the industries. What’s more visceral: more than 13 workers per day never return home to their loved ones after they report for work in the U.S.

The leading causes of private sector construction worker deaths (highway collisions excluded) are falls, followed by electrocution, being struck by an object and being caught-in/between an object. These reported “Fatal Four” causes are responsible for 60.6 percent of the construction worker deaths in 2014 according to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The agency emphasizes that eliminating these four will save 545 workers’ lives in every year.

OSHA’s Construction Fatal Four by the Numbers in 2014

  1. Falls — 359 out of 899 total deaths (39.9 percent)
  2. Electrocutions — 74 (8.2 percent)
  3. Struck by object — 73 (8.1 percent)
  4. Caught-in/between — 39 (4.3 percent)

OSHA’s top ten construction industry violations since 2012 account for more than 72,414 violations nationwide for both federal and state programs. Topping the list once again is fall protection-related citations accounting for 33,430 violations of the total in the construction industry. Ladder and training-related violations are frequent fliers as well for the OSHA inspectors.

Not much has changed throughout the last several years on the top 10 construction safety violations list. What does this mean? The list offers you a renewed opportunity to review safety and health programs and to champion improvements to these programs. By publishing the most-cited violations, OSHA highlights several common denominators that can provide employers with deep insight when reviewing their facility’s safety standards.

The Top 10 Construction Safety Violations (Federal and State OSHA) Since 2012

Whether you are a small employer or a larger company, OHSA’s list of most-cited construction safety violations can lend an excellent starting point for planning or modifying your safety protocols.

  1. Federal: Fall Protection, residential construction (1926.501(b)(13)): 19,367 violations
    State: Fall Protection, residential construction (1926.501(b)(13)): 1,840
  2. Federal: Ladders, portable (1926.1053 (b)(1)): 7,192
    State: Fall Protection, guard rails (1926.501(b)(1)): 1,206
  3. Federal: Fall Protection, guard rails (1926.501(b)(1)): 6,387
    State: Training Certification (1926.503(b)(1)): 965
  4. Federal: Training Requirements (1926.503(a)(1): 6,175
    State: Training Program (1926.503(a)(1)): 943
  5. Federal: Eye and Face Protection (1926.102(a)(1)): 5,835
    State: Ladders, portable (1926.1053(b)(1)): 775
  6. Federal: Head Protection (1926.100(a)): 4,997
    State: Hazard Communication, written program (1910.1200(e)(1)): 727
  7. Federal: Scaffolds, fall protection (1926.451(g)(1)): 3,708
    State: Fall Protection, low-slope roofs (1926.501(b)(10)): 698
  8. Federal: Scaffolds, aerial lifts (1926.453(b)(2)(v)): 3,438
    State: Head Protection (1926.100(a)): 674
  9. Federal: Fall Protection, low-slope roofs (1926.501(b)(10)): 3,361
    State: Fall Protection, steep roofs (1926.501(b)(11)): 571
  10. Federal: Scaffolds, access (1926.451(e)(1)): 2,993
    State: General Safety and Health Provisions (1926.20(b)(2)): 562

The top ten violations on OSHA’s most cited 2015 list includes general industry and construction. Knowing the top violations in your industry can help guide you on what aspects of your workplace may need more attention in order to keep your employees safe and working well.

J.A. Rodriguez Jr.
J.A. Rodriguez Jr.

J.A. Rodriguez Jr., CSP, is the CEO of Make My Day Strategies LLC and a global Fortune 100 senior manager. Rodriguez was honored to be selected by EHS Today Magazine as one of "The 50 People Who Most Influenced environmental, health and safety in 2012-2013" and "2014 - 2015."