Top 10 Citations from Federal OSHA in 2013, January 2014

Download Available: Top 10 Hits

The Federal Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enacting and enforcing safety laws in the US.  In certain states such as California, Cal-OSHA, a state agency, enforces laws that are as stringent as Federal OSHA laws.  The top 10 citations issued to the general industry by Federal-OSHA in 2013 are discussed below.  Top 10 citations for the auto industry may be different than those listed below.

Fall Protection:  Out of a total of 3945 worker fatalities in 2012, 775 of them were in construction.  Falls in the construction industry accounted for 278 fatalities (36% of all construction fatalities).  Needless to say, construction and fall protection is in the cross-wires of OSHA.  Any time a worker is at a height of 4 feet or more, the worker is at risk and needs to be protected.

Hazard Communication:  Requires employers to provide a written Hazard Communication Program, label hazardous chemicals, provide a Material Safety Data Sheet for each chemical, and document employee training.

Scaffolding:  Primarily applicable to construction industry.

Respiratory Protection:  The bodyshop employees need specific training on policies (written) and practices involving the use of respirators during auto refinishing operations.  Training on respiratory protection program, fit testing procedures, user seal check procedures, and respiratory cleaning procedures are mandatory, and so is the OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire.  Information for employees using respirators when not required under standard is also mandatory.

Electrical Standards:  OSHA standards are designed to protect employees from electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions.  Failure to use flexible cords and cables properly was the most common citation.  Please note that training for servicing Hybrid vehicles should be mandatory, and only trained workers should be allowed to work on these vehicles as they can provide a fatal shock to the unwary.

Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts):  OSHA compliance requires training in specific activities—forklift operations, loading and unloading, and vehicle maintenance.  Evaluating the operator every three years is also mandatory.

Ladders In Construction:  See Fall Protection above.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO):  Specific procedures and practices on LOTO are required to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment.  A written program, found in the CSI EHS binder, helps dealers comply with the program.  Service Manager must comply by setting up procedures and practices that isolate energy to the equipment or automobile engine to prevent inadvertent movement during repair or service.  Lockout kits that can be used to isolate any equipment in shop, including locks, should be available as well.

Electrical, General:  Exposure to live electric wires and risk of electrocution is the hazard cited.

Machine Guarding: Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards, including anchoring fixed machinery, are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with the machine may injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled.  Moving parts in an automobile, grinders, and brake lathes are all subject to this regulation.


The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. Sam has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA & OSHA regulations since 1987.  Send your comments to.

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