Machine Safety: OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2012

See the top five reasons why machine safety has become even more important in the past 10 years. Also see the Top 10 OSHA violations for 2012: Machine safety account for four.


What have I been saying all year? Right, machine safety has become even more important in the past 10 years. Why?
Top 10 OSHA violations for 2012: Machine safety account for four. Control Engineering Machine Safety Blog

In my opinion there’s no single answer. Hasn’t there always been recognition that employees should be safe from harm’s way? Certainly this can be said from the early 1970’s when the US Government created OSHA. Since then, and particularly in the last ten years, there’s been a paradigm shift in the increase of industrial attention to machine safety. I believe there are at least five major contributors to this renewal:

  1. Economic conditions have driven management to look for additional opportunities to improve margins, reduce costs, and improve profits. 
  1. “Safety Pays” is now and understood business strategy by many organizations. Realizing that injury costs go directly to the bottom line is a major awakening. 
  1. Industry safety standards are becoming more international versus domestic with global requirements. In the US we have seen significant influence from Europe which many believe has actually led to improved employee safety.
  1. Technology advancements have been incorporated into product solutions leading to improved reliability of machine safety functions.
  1. Competition and the import/export shipments of machinery have driven the need for safety compliance for market acceptability. 

And then there’s the enforcement side. So far this year there are four factors of machine safety in OSHA’s list of “Top 10 Violations for 2012”. They are:

#6 Machine Guarding (1910.212)

#8 Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305)

#9 Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)

#10 Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303)

Totally, these four violation categories account for 6,745 violations so far this year and as an industry application it would rank second under Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) total violations: 7,250. So, is machine safety garnering the attention of OSHA’s enforcement arm – unequivocally, YES! 

J.B. Titus, CFSE

Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. 

Related articles:

Machine safety pays off – by JB Titus

Machine Safety – does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?

Machine Safety: Is OSHA okay with my 'acceptable' risk mitigation?

Integrated Safety Systems: Ensuring Safety and Operational Productivity - by the Aberdeen Group


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