Home HSE Articles Safety Violation Explained & How To Enhance Compliance

Safety Violation Explained & How To Enhance Compliance


Violation is failure or refusal to comply with a rule or formal agreement. Safety violation according to Health & Safety Executive is a deliberate deviation from rules, procedures and instructions designed for safety and efficiency of a system.

It can also be said to be a violation of a particular workplace safety standard, regulation, policy, or rule. Safety violations include both the violation of safety policies created by an individual workplace and violations of the regulatory standards that are enforced within a given jurisdiction.

OSHA gave a comprehensive list of top safety violations of 2018:

See complete list:

Most Cited OSHA Violations of 2018
1. Fall Protection (1926.501)
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
3. Scaffolding – General Requirements (1926.451)
4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
5. Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
6. Ladders (1926.1053)
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
9. Machine Guarding– General Requirement (1910.212)
10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)

All the above are the areas that as most violated. These violations comes with negative effects ranging from legal actions, injury, to death.

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Types Of Safety Violations

Safety violations are generally grouped into two (2):

  • Intentional violation: This occurs when the violator knows that he/she is violating certain rules or requirement but overwhelmed by various factors like lack of enforcement, management pressure, design and condition of work area, environmental factors, etc. This violation can either be routine violation, situational violation, or exceptional violation.
  • Non-Intentional violation: This mostly occurs usually a result of lack of knowledge or behavioural errors.

Read Also6 effective approaches to enhancing Health and Safety compliance on site

How To Enhance Safety Compliance

Safety violation need to be control in the workplace to prevent accident and/or legal sanction. It can be controlled by improving safety compliance; this can be achieved by:

  1. Planning for Improving Health and Safety: There must be a plan in place to improve health and safety in the workplace. This will include ways of identifying hazards and controlling the risk. Making your employees to understand their duties with regard to health and safety, and a line of communication open for reporting safety concerns.
  2. Workplace inspection: There should be plan for routine workplace inspection. This will help identify hazards/risk early, identify risky behaviours and non-compliance. This will be used to design and prioritize actions to succor the safety issues identified.
  3. Training: To enhance compliance, employees must be trained. This training will expose them to the different violations and their implications. This will help them take an informed action against safety violations.

Other ways to boost compliance and reduce violations are:

  • Leadership example
  • Investigate accident
  • Engage employees or their representative in decision making process
  • Maintain records: This involve records of first aid treatment, inspections, incident investigations, and training activities, etc.
  • Always give opportunity for continual improvement.

Read Also: 6 Ways To Make Sure Your New Business Is Safety Compliant

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