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Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. While safety should always a top priority on the jobsite, far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace each year – pushing the fatal injury rate for the construction industry higher than the national average for all industries.

Whether it’s a tight deadline, lack of education or overconfidence that leads to careless actions, following the rigid standards and precautionary measures put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not only the law, but also a practical and efficient way to keep your team safe.   

Founded in 1970 as part of the United States Department of Labor, OSHA has enforced working standards and has provided training, outreach education and assistance to assure safe and healthful working conditions for people in all industries. Since its beginnings, OSHA has had a significant impact on workplace safety – reducing workplace fatalities by 65 percent and occupational injury and illness rates by 67 percent, all while US employment has almost doubled.

To keep on this trend of improved safety records and to alert employers of commonly recognized hazards, OSHA publishes a list of commonly cited standards each year. The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following more than 35,000 federal OSHA worksite inspections in 2014:  

1. Fall protection                                                                                   

According to OSHA records, falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. To keep employees safe, guard floor holes, secure guardrails around elevated platforms and provide safety nets, harnesses and handrails on special job sites.

2. Hazard communication

With the number of hazardous chemicals used in the construction and building industries, it’s no wonder improper exposure and handling continues to pose a serious threat to the health of our workforce. By classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets to employees and contractors, it is possible to avoid danger while also increasing productivity and cost savings.

3. Scaffolding

Nearly three out of four workers injured in scaffold accidents attribute the accident either to a planking or support giving way, slipping or being struck by a falling object, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study. By implementing appropriate safety measures and acting in compliance with OSHA standards, American employers could prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year and save $90 million in workdays not lost.

4. Respiratory protection

Respirators protect workers against harmful environments where airborne particles or harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays may be present. By providing and enforcing use of the proper safety equipment, employers could avert illnesses such as cancer, lung impairment, diseases or even death for the 5 million workers required to wear respirators in the United States.  

5. Powered industrial trucks

There are many types of powered industrial trucks used in the construction and building industries, and each poses its own operating hazards. Determining the best way to protect workers from injury largely depends on the type of truck operated and the worksite where it is being used. Keeping team members educated and trained on operational standards, as well as keeping machines in good working condition, are a few ways to reduce the risk at hand.  

6. Control of hazardous energy

When dealing with electric-powered machines and equipment, the threat of electric malfunction and mishap is omnipresent. By controlling energy output through use of lockout-tagout procedures, employee training and periodic inspections, you can keep employees safe even in the most dangerous of jobsites.

7. Ladders

Ladders are one of the most widely used tools in the construction and building industries, and one of the most dangerous. Lack of security, carrying too heavy of a load and poorly supported rungs are all common reasons workers fall or otherwise harm themselves on this everyday piece of equipment. Taking a moment to inspect and secure a ladder, as well as having a second person securing the ladder during ascent and descent, can save you not only from a fall, but also from wasted time and money.

8. Electrical, wiring methods

Whether you’re on the power line, wiring a building or working in an office with indirect contact to a power source, electricity can be a serious workplace hazard. In fact, if handled improperly, electricity can cause injuries such as shock and severe burns, and even fatalities. Per OSHA standards, always keep a 10-foot safety circle around all electric power lines – meaning no equipment, tools, materials or persons within that space.

9. Machine guarding

Crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns and blindness are just some of the injuries reported to OSHA each year as a result of improperly safeguarding workers from moving machines. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with moving parts could potentially harm employees, machine safeguards can help you protect workers from preventable injuries.

10. Electrical systems design

Electric systems, which are groups of electrical components connected to carry out some operation, need to maintain certain design elements, such as insulation, guarding, grounding and electrical protective devices, to keep workers and end users safe. Similar to the threats listed in number eight, if these systems are not held to a high standard, injury or fatality may occur.

As the construction industry continues to grow, it’s vital for workers, supervisors and employers to be educated and responsible for worksite safety. Following OSHA standards and utilizing its resources can help reduce deaths and serious injuries. Adherence to these standards can also lead to benefits for your business, such as improved safety ratings, leading to higher employee satisfaction, customer advocacy and a better bottom line.  

Testimonials

On behalf of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, I would like to thank you for showcasing our company as a cover story in US Builders Review, and express our gratitude for a job well done in putting together an impressive editorial product. We already have received a great deal of positive feedback on the article and are confident it will be a very effective tool for sharing Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ story, and our new hotel project, with a national audience of industry professionals. Please also extend our thanks to everyone on your team that helped in any way to produce this article. This was truly a collaborative effort.  Your staff listened to our feedback and was incredibly professional and accommodating to our requests throughout the entire process. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with US Builders Review on future projects.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
The team at US Builders Review is professional and did a great job with your published article. They asked for and listened to my feedback and responded quickly to any requests I made.
— Susan Courter, Director of Business Development, R.E. Crawford Construction
Kyle and his team were very professional and patient in explaining their program to us. Their communications were clear and concise and did a great job of guiding us through the process of getting published in their magazine.
— Michael Henthorn, Owner, Henthorn Commercial Construction
Working with Kyle at TrueLine Publishing was a great experience. We are quite pleased with how the article about Souder Brothers turned out. The magazine article and photo spread is going to be a very effective tool to use in our marketing. If you have the opportunity to be featured in a project like this, I would recommend doing it. Kyle and his team made the whole process very smooth and we are happy to have been a part of the latest edition of US Builders Review.
— Corinne Schaffer, Project Manager, Souder Brothers Construction
I was contacted as a nominee for the Greenbuild Editor’s Choice 2016 recognition and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Working with US Builders Review has been a blessing for my company. Erica Berry took an awesome interview in the initial call as she gathered data for the article. She was concerned about how we became us, and she made me feel important by listening and taking notes. Then there is Ian Nichols who made me feel so comfortable in sharing my story, and Molly Shaw who interviewed me as well, as she was getting ready to create an awesome article about my company -- and I must say she nailed it on the first run! What a pleasure it has been to work with everyone. This feature on Container Homes USA will help me push the company into the forefront at the Greenbuild Expo 2016.
— Derrick C. W. Childs, Director Construction & Design, Container Homes USA
TrueLine Publishing was a delight to work with. They were extremely patient and worked diligently to get our article written and published. The team always responded in a timely manner and was courteous. I look forward to working with TrueLine Publishing in the future and will recommend them to other businesses.
— Crystal Leos, Business Development, DALLASWHITE Property Restoration
Kyle Gahm was instrumental in coordinating this project from beginning to end. He was always available and a pleasure to work with. It would be a pleasure to work with Kyle down the road. Bill Keaton was very impressive in raising money from advertising which resulted in ASE getting the cover story, so thank you Bill. Lia Prysunka and Jeanee Dudley are both very impressive individuals who deserve a lot of credit for this featured piece. They were both very patient and accepting of any changes we suggested. The format, quality, and resolution was awesome. To sum it all up: Our upper management, who never have been high on PR and things of this nature said that it was "absolutely fantastic" and were blown away. They now are requesting multiple copies of the full magazine and are very proud of the work you all put in. Thanks again.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
Thank you all your efforts in putting together such a great article about our company in US Builders Review. DH Construction appreciates the professional manner in which your team worked with us to achieve the stateside exposure we were after; especially taking the time to get all of the facts correct. In short, the article was extremely well put together and we have already received a great deal of feedback, interest, and compliments as a result of the piece. Once again, we appreciate all the effort, and without a doubt, we will not hesitate to work with your organization again in the future.
— Daniel Harrigan, Principal, DH Construction
I was contacted by the company to write a review on my business. They handled the process very efficient and professional. The pictures came out great and the article was perfect. I am very happy with their work.
— Kirt McGhee, Owner, K4M Construction
I’m blown away with the value that could come out of our partnership through this article. Working with the US Builders Review team is something that I have never experienced before and every day I feel even more privileged to be with EJH Construction, I never take for granted the opportunities that have come my way.  I am so excited about what our future looks like based on the relationship that has been built with the US Builders Review team.
Jennifer Wilhelmsen – Director of Human Resources, EJH Construction Inc.

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