OSHA released its “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards” last October.
Sometimes it is good to revisit a topic to determine if improvements have been made, or if more work needs to be done. Looking at the safety violations that were cited most often can reveal an industry’s strengths and weaknesses.
While the Top 10 most cited violations are the same as they have been for the past three years, Electrical (wiring) was 8th on the list this past fiscal year, down from 5th in 2013. Electrical (systems design) also dropped, to 10th place. It was in 9th place in 2013.
Strengths in the electrical industry include engineering innovations that reduce injuries and minimize equipment and outage costs through new products that can detect arcflash potential and automatically cut off power, like an arcflash relay or an archflash reduction system. Personal protective equipment shield workers from the hazards of their jobs; examples include insulated tools, hardhats, dielectric shoes, and arc rated clothing.
In cooperation with technological advances, there are those companies who have invested in the safety of their workers. But there is always room for improvement. Contractors, workers, companies – everyone who works in the electrical industry – need to be aware of the standards and then follow them. To err is human: this is evident in the redundant list released by OSHA each year. The same mistakes are being made and being cited. Proper electrical safety including arc flash hazard training is required, and accountability is necessary. Everyone’s goal should be to reduce injuries to zero. An electrical safety program which includes quality hazard assessment, supervisiory auditing, site auditing, periodic third party auditing and quality electrical safety training is the first step to elimination of electrical incidents. All workers need some level of electrical safety training.