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Preliminary list of top ten cited violations in 2012

OSHA's Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) was the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2012.

The preliminary statistics reveal the top 10 for FY 2012 are:

  1. Fall Protection - General Requirements (1926.501) Total violations: 7,250
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) Total violations: 4,696
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) Total violations: 3,814
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) Total violations: 2,371
  5. Ladders (1926.1053) Total violations: 2,310
  6. Machine Guarding (1910.212) Total violations: 2,097
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) Total violations: 1,993
  8. Electrical - Wiring Methods (1910.305) Total violations: 1,744
  9. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) Total violations: 1,572
  10. Electrical - General Requirements (1910.303) Total violations: 1,332

All of the top ten violations for FY 2012 are on the top ten violations list from FY 2011, though the rank is different.

Changes to variance webpage

OSHA recently updated its variance webpage to provide more information on the approval process and agency decisions regarding variance requests.

A variance allows employers to deviate from an OSHA standard in a specific circumstance. Reasons include not being able to fully comply because of an equipment shortage or an employer's preference for a method other than what OSHA requires. For OSHA to approve a variance, the employer must demonstrate that the proposed method will make the workplace as safe, or safer, than OSHA's requirement. Previously, the variance webpage featured only approved cases; it now includes denied requests, background on OSHA rules and how to apply for a variance.

Spanish version of OSHA- NIOSH nail gun guide available

Nail Gun Safety - A Guide for Construction Contractors, a resource that helps construction employers and workers prevent work-related nail gun injuries, is now available in Spanish (.PDF).

Recent fines and awards

Two employers ordered to pay back wages and take corrective action - Connecticut

Two employers who allegedly fired employees in retaliation for filing complaints regarding unsafe or unhealthful conditions, Parker Medical has agreed to pay the discharged employee $12,000 in back wages and interest, display the OSHA poster with information about whistleblower rights - in English and Spanish - in its workplace, expunge the employee's personnel record of all references to the situation and provide a neutral job reference. Scott Bialik, a Brookfield dentist, agreed to pay his former employee $24,630 in back wages and interest as well as $5,000 in emotional distress damages, display the OSHA poster with information about whistleblower rights.

Contractor cited for repeat, serious trenching violations - New Hampshire

Newport Construction faces a total of $30,310 in proposed fines chiefly for trenching hazards at a Middlesex County, Mass., utility installation work site.

Craft brewer cited for safety hazards following fatality caused by April keg explosion - New Hampshire

Portland, Ore.-based Craft Brew Alliance Inc. was cited with 14 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards following the April 24 death of an employee at the company's Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. The employee was using a compressed air line to purge liquid from the interior of a plastic keg when the keg exploded and fatally struck him. Craft Brew Alliance Inc. faces a total of $63,500 in proposed fines.

Subcontractor cited following worker's crushing death at subway extension site in Manhattan - New York

Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. faces a total of 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety in connection with the April 3 death of a worker on the No. 7 subway extension project in Manhattan. The worker, an employee of subcontractor J&EI Industries of Belle Harbor, was fatally struck by a crane boom at the 524 W. 33rd St. work site after the wire rope used to raise and lower the boom broke, causing it to fall. According to OSHA, the company failed to conduct required hoist inspections that would have identified defects Yonkers Contacting, which faces $68,000 in proposed fines, and J&E Industries, which faces a $7,000 proposed fine.

Manager of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island faces $88,000 in proposed fines for asbestos and other hazards - New York

SMG @ Nassau Coliseum LLC, doing business as SMG, was cited with 16 alleged serious violations of workplace health and safety standards. The company, which manages the day-to-day operations of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, faces a total of $88,000 in proposed fines for asbestos, electrical, chemical and other hazards facing workers at the coliseum.

Symmetry Turf Installations cited for worker's heat-related death - Texas

Symmetry Turf Installations LLC of Mount Pleasant, Texas, was cited with two serious safety violations for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat. OSHA conducted an inspection after a forklift operator died of complications from heat stroke that occurred in June while resurfacing the football practice field at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville." OSHA's Little Rock Area Office cited the employer under the agency's general duty clause for failing to train workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness as well as on precautions to take when employees are working under such conditions.

Stroh Precision Die faces over $50,000 in fines - Wisconsin

A follow up inspection of Stroh Precision Die Casting led to nine safety violations, including five repeat, at the company's Mauston facility for failing to provide appropriate protective equipment and train workers on hazardous chemicals, among other violations. Proposed fines total $51,590.

Fontarome Chemical cited for process safety management program deficiencies following fire - Wisconsin

Following a fire at the company's pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Francis, Fontarome Chemical Inc. was cited for 17 serious safety violations. OSHA initiated an inspection under its national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities. Proposed fines total $51,800.

Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products fined more than $184,000 - Wisconsin

Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products was cited for 16 alleged health and safety, including four willful and six repeat, many are for exposing workers to amputation hazards. The Company has a history of noncompliance with protection standards, amputation hazards. Proposed penalties total $184,800.

Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.