OSHA's Top 10: Present and past
OSHA's most cited violations and largest penalties for FY 2013 - plus a look at data from previous years.
year's presentation of the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations
includes some comparisons with data from previous years.
Due to the federal government shutdown that began Oct. 1 and ended Oct.
17, finalized data for fiscal year 2013 - covering the period of Oct.
1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013 - could not be obtained. Data for
FY 2013 presented on these pages was received Sept. 13 and should be
Manufacturing Wants Its Jobs Back - But Can It Find The Workers?
Skilled labor is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Whether it's
due to more conservative hiring practices, changing demographics or
negative perceptions of “manufacturing” jobs, the demand for high-skill
labor is growing faster than supply. Businesses across the globe are
finding it hard to hire and retain enough workers to support their
growth despite a rising global population; and industry experts are
predicting the situation will worsen over the next twenty years. The
implications for manufacturing organizations are clear - hire, train
and invest in a skilled workforce now to insulate against what many are
calling the perfect storm of a future skilled labor shortage.
A Changing Labor Landscape for Manufacturing
Manufacturing is growing globally, accounting for approximately 16
percent of global GDP and 14 percent of employment (McKinsey Global
Institute, The Future of Manufacturing). Consequently, many country
leaders have hailed this sector as a vital component to economic
recovery, offering government grants and other incentives to encourage
industry investment. Yet manufacturers across the global are finding it
increasingly difficult to staff adequately due to a lack of interest by
younger workers, an aging demographic, and changing skill requirements.
Negative Perception of “Manufacturing”
A recent survey conducted by the Fabricators & Manufacturers
Association (FMA), found that 52% of U.S. teenagers have little or no
interest in a manufacturing career. When asked why, the young
respondents said they thought manufacturing was a declining field, with
unprofessional, dead-end jobs, dirty factories and frequent layoffs.
An Aging Workforce
Older employees are leaving the workforce at a faster rate than
qualified workers are being hired to replace them. Consider these
statistics from the US Census Bureau:
1. 7918 people turn 60 years of age every day; 330 an hour
2. The number of US people age 55 and older will increase 73% by 2020
3. The number of younger workers will grow only 5%
And, this is not just a United States trend:
- Over the next 15 years, 80% of workforce growth in developed
economies in North America, Europe and Asia will occur among people 50
years or older.
- If current low birthrates and longevity trends continue through 2050,
the number of older persons in the world will exceed the number of
However, it is not only the lack of manpower causing problems when
older workers leave a company. The seasoned workforce also takes with
them a wealth of in-the-trenches experience and company DNA.
Quantity vs. Quality
A shortage of workers may seem counter intuitive when one considers the
United Nations predicts at least 8 billion people on Earth by 2050.
Yet, it isn't the quantity of people that poses a problem. Rather, it
is the smaller number of skilled workers that is the issue. According
to the U.S. Department of Education, “60 percent of the new jobs that
will emerge in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only
20 percent of the current workforce.” Manufacturing positions are
migrating from unskilled, manual labor, to highly specialized
Opportunities for Investment
Manufacturing companies are in a race. They are racing to capture
knowledge held by older workers, racing to retain an existing
workforce, and racing to attract younger talent from a limited pool of
resources. Missteps in any one of these areas could mean the difference
between success and failure. Fortunately, advancements in operational
software and systems are giving companies new ways to address each of
these issues. For example, 3D visualization technology provides a
natural, intuitive technology interface, which makes it easier for
workers to store and share information. Intelligent machines provide
the ability to analyze “big data” in real-time and at the point of work
to enable better decision making in the face of rapidly changing market
demands. Also, workers can now monitor and take action in the field by
using mobile devices to access mission critical information such as
product traceability and recalls, inventory movements and operational
Government subsidies should help stimulate interest in manufacturing
opportunities. But it is up to the organizations themselves to attract,
train and support the workforce with cutting edge systems. Investing in
these types of solutions today will help weather the labor storm of
OSHA issues rule to update regulations and decrease burden on businesses
Nov. 20, OSHA issued a direct final rule, along with a companion notice
of proposed rulemaking, that revises requirements of OSHA's standard
for mechanical power presses, which punch, form or assemble metal or
other materials. Workers can be exposed to hand, finger or arm
injuries-often resulting in amputation-if parts of a press are worn,
damaged or not operating properly. The new rule eliminates a
requirement for employers to document mandatory weekly inspections of
these presses while clarifying the responsibility of employers to
perform and document any maintenance or repairs necessary to protect
the safety of workers who operate them. The final rule will be
effective Feb.18, 2014, unless OSHA receives a significant adverse
comment by Dec. 20, 2013. See the news release and Federal Register notice for more information and go to www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, to submit comments electronically.