Most everyone likes a top ten list, and OSHA is always on hand to provide the 10 most cited safety violations of the previous year. Many of these pertain to the paint industry, and they are a good reminder to make sure you, your staff, and your crew is up to date on how to stay safe. It’s OSHA’s hope that by reading this list, contractors and employers will be encouraged to take steps to mitigate these hazards in the future.
Fall Protection (Construction standard) – 8,241 violations: Fall protection must be put in place when a worker is at a height of four feet or more.
Hazard Communication – 6,156 violations: Do you know what’s in the products you use? Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and communicate this information to their customers.
Scaffolding (Construction standard) – 5,423 violations: We’ve reported on several tragic accidents due to contractors falling from a scaffold, often because the support or the planking gives way. This can also endanger an employee working beneath, who can be struck with falling objects.
Respiratory Protection – 3,879 violations: Respirators protect workers in many situations, and the correct respirator – along with the correct usage – is paramount.
Lockout/Tagout – 3,254 violations: “Lockout-Tag out” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,340 violations: Many accidents occur in the use of these trucks (or forklifts), including driving off the loading docks or falling from other elevated surfaces.
Ladders (Construction standard) – 3,311 violations: According to the US Department of Labor (DOL) falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma.
Electrical, Wiring Methods – 3,452 violations: If your painters are working around potential electrical hazards, perhaps in a space with electrical contractors, make sure they know how to stay safe.
Machine Guarding – 2,701 violations: Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. If not, it can result in injury.
Electrical, General Requirements – 2,745 violations: While this doesn’t apply to painters directly, once again, make sure they know how to stay safe around potential electrical hazards.
By following proper safety guidelines, OSHA believes that you can help prevent most accidents and injuries on the job site.