Most of us have sat through eye-rollingly boring safety meetings and presentations to warn us about the dangers of slips, trips, and falls.  While we think we may know better, the latest list of incidents from OSHA proves that the message may not be sinking in as deeply for some as it should.

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The list, which was put together based on data gathered by the BSI Group, includes both long-standing concerns and emerging ones, highlighting the need for a safe workplace.

Here is the breakdown for this year as we start to get ready for 2024:

1. There were 7,271 violations of fall protection.

Of all the OSHA regulations, Fall Protection—General Requirements has been the leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths for the past thirteen years running. The prevention of falls relies heavily on proper training and the implementation of safety protocols. Having reliable fall protection systems such as guardrails, safety nets, and individual fall arrest and restraining devices is of the utmost importance. In order to prevent falls, it is crucial to ensure that all individuals are properly taught and adhere to all safety protocols.

2. 3,213 infractions related to hazard communication

Ensuring accurate labeling of hazardous items, up-to-date safety data sheets (SDSs), and worker awareness of dangers are the three main points of discussion when discussing hazard communication (1910.1200) infractions. The key to preventing chemical exposure and mishaps in the workplace is raising awareness of potential dangers.

3. Ladders: 2,978 failures

Despite their usefulness, ladders are a common cause of accidents. Avoiding slips, falls, and accidents requires careful ladder use, upkeep, and safety precautions. Employees must be trained in the safe use and maintenance of ladders in accordance with OSHA's regulations.

4. 2,859 infractions involving scaffolding

Construction and related sectors are in danger from scaffolding. The purpose of this type of violation is to emphasize the importance of regularly inspecting scaffolds, keeping them in a safe condition, and ensuring that only authorized workers use them. The safety of everyone working on scaffolds depends on proper training and strict adherence to all applicable regulations.

5. 2,561 offenses involving powered industrial trucks

Forklifts and other powered industrial vehicles (PITs) pose a serious safety risk if not used properly. Operators of PITs must adhere to specific safety protocols and undergo thorough training, as emphasized in OSHA's PIT regulation.

6. 2,554 infractions involving lockout/tagout

Infractions of the Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard deal with hazards that may arise while servicing or maintaining machinery. See the BSI E-Learning: Hazardous Energy Control Program: Lock-Out/Tagout webinar for more information on why it's important to create and adhere to correct LOTO procedures, why it's necessary to provide essential LOTO equipment, and why authorized users and impacted personnel need comprehensive training.

7. Ventilation: 2,481 infractions

OSHA's inclusion of respiratory protection violations emphasizes how important exposure assessments (identifying the hazard), providing appropriate respiratory equipment and associated fit tests, and emphasizing proper equipment use are in protecting workers from airborne contaminants.

8. 2,112 infractions involving fall prevention training requirements

Training employees on the hazards they face on the job and how to correctly use fall protection gear is a top priority, according to regulations. Fall occurrences can be prevented with proper training, which in turn saves lives.

9. There were 2,074 infractions involving PPE, lifesaving gear, and eye and facial protection.

To protect themselves from chemicals and flying particles, workers must wear protective eye and facial gear. The best way to keep workers safe is to provide them with high-quality PPE and make sure they know how to use it properly.

10. 1,644 infractions related to machine guarding

Dangerous machinery may be operating without sufficient guards. Machine guarding violations highlight the need to protect workers from moving parts, equip machines with necessary safety features, and provide adequate training on how to use them safely.

Instead of trying to frighten us, OSHA hopes that this list will serve as a wake-up call to businesses and workers alike. Companies can make their workplaces safer, more productive places to work in 2024 if we address these issues.

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