5 OSHA Safety Standards Every American Worker Should Know

In 2015, 4,836 American workers were killed on the job.

In order to avoid that horrendous outcome for yourself and your coworkers, it’s important that you understand the OSHA safety standards for your workplace.

But what are the most common OSHA violations types cited in American workplaces?

Let’s take a look at the 5 top US citations of workplace safety violations according to the National Safety Council and OSHA.

5 OSHA Safety Standards Every American Worker Should Know

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1971 to prevent work-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths. The OSHA definition of a safe workplace is one that is free of known safety and health hazards, and it’s your employer’s responsibility to provide this for you.

Many preventable deaths and injuries occur on job sites. Knowing an OSHA violation when you see one could save you or your coworker from serious injury or death.

Taking OSHA safety courses is a great way to become more informed and increase your safety. OSHA safety meeting topics can include all of these OSHA violations and more.

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)

One of the most common causes of serious workplace injuries or even death is falling.

Your employer is responsible for preventing workers from falling off elevated work stations, overhead platforms, or into holes in the walls and floor.

  1. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)

Specific protocols must be followed in workplaces that contain hazardous chemicals. Not only does information about the types of chemicals and their dangers have to be available and understandable to workers, but exposed workers must also be properly trained to handle the hazardous chemicals. Safety data sheets and labels must be available for exposed workers as well as downstream customers.

  1. Scaffolding (1926.451)

Many of the scaffold accidents that occur are caused by non-compliance with OSHA standards. Almost three-quarters of scaffold-related injuries are caused by a falling object, the employee slipping, or the support or planking giving way.

  1. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)

Lockout/Tagout procedures protect workers from releases of hazardous energy.

Hazardous energy is when stored energy is unexpectedly released in a way that is dangerous to workers, no matter the energy source.

  1. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)

Respirators are required in certain types of workplaces and protect workers by removing contaminants from the air. Some respirators, but not all, protect from contaminated air and supply clean air from another source.

Proper compliance with OSHA standards could help thousands of Americans avoid illness and hundreds avoid death every year.

Knowing Your Rights Could Save Your Life

Being aware of your rights as a worker and your employer’s responsibility for ensuring your safety could prevent serious injury or worse. While these are the top 5 most cited safety standards, there are many more that it’s worth knowing about.

Did you find this article helpful? Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog! Do you have any OSHA stories? Share in the comments below!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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One comment

  1. Year after year, the usual suspects show up on OSHA’s 10 most-cited violations list. What do the numbers tell us, though? The need for more education on the costs of accidents, illness, injuries, and the benefits of a safer work environment.

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