During the recent National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo, the world’s largest forum for health and safety technology, products, education, and networking, OSHA’s preliminary Top 10 list of violations for 2017 was revealed. NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman explained, “The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe. When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”
Each year, the rankings change very little. In 2017, however, with more than 6,000 reported violations, the need for fall protection general requirements was identified as the top priority. Below is the full list of hazards, and some of the NFPA codes and standards that currently exist so that organizations and workers can optimize safety and minimize workplace hazards.
- Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 6,072 violations
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 4,176 violations - NFPA 704, the Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response presents a simple, easily understood system of markings (referred to as the "NFPA hazard diamond") that provides a general sense of hazardous materials, and notes the severity as they relate to emergency response. This standard and the chemical data base that NFPA publishes in the Fire Protection Guide to HazMat can help workers minimize occupational risk.
- Scaffolding (1926.451): 3,288 violations – There are some stability considerations addressed in Chapter 8 of NFPA 241, the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. The document provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage to structures, including those in underground locations, during construction, alteration, or demolition.
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 3,097 violations - NFPA 1852 The Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) establishes requirements for the SCBA used by the fire service. SCBA is required by the respiratory protection guidelines set forth in NFPA 1500, the Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. These standards minimize the risk that firefighters can face due to improper maintenance of equipment, contamination, or damage.
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,877 violations
- Ladders (1926.1053): 2,241 violations
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,162 violations - NFPA 505 Fire Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks Including Type Designations, Areas of Use, Conversions, Maintenance, and Operations mitigates potential fire and explosion hazards involving powered industrial trucks, including fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.
- Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,933 violations
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements: 1,523 violations
- Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305): 1,405 violations - NFPA is perhaps best known for producing NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and NFPA 70E, the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® which identifies safe work practices and protects personnel from major electrical hazards. NFPA 70E was originally developed at OSHA's request to help companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast.
Occupational health and safety is a core consideration at NFPA. The Association’s codes and standards, training and resources inform the electrical, chemical, and construction industries, as well as the fire service by providing benchmarks and best practices. An educated workforce and a strong enforcement community responsible for holding others accountable are essential to ensuring the health and safety of workers.