OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations

Compliance is key. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 as part of the United States Department of Labor to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” (United States Department of Labor). Through Compliance Officers and various enforcement channels, OSHA continually works to verify that employers are providing a safe workplace.

Sustainable Supply knows that workplace safety is an important responsibility. We help our customers maintain compliance with OSHA regulations daily because a compliant facility is a safer one. But even the most responsible employer can get lost in the number of standards and regulations set forth by OSHA, so we’ve compiled a list of OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations with the hope that your company avoids the risk of falling out of compliance and jeopardizing worker safety.

#1 Fall Protection

Standard 1926.501 – This standard determines where fall protection systems are required, the correct type of system required, acceptable construction and installation of the systems, and the appropriate supervision levels of

Total Violations: 6,906
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Residential construction: 3,911
  2. Unprotected sides/edges: 1,278
  3. Roofing work on low-slope roofs: 625
  4. Steep roofs: 523
  5. Holes and skylights: 154

#2 Hazard Communication

Standard 1910.1200 – This standard applies to chemical hazards in the workplace that are either produced in the facility or imported there. The standard also regulates the required communication of those hazards to the

Total Violations: 5,665
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Implementation of a hazcom program: 1,833
  2. Training: 1,446
  3. Requirement to maintain SDS: 464
  4. Requirement to develop SDS: 386
  5. Explanation of shipping label received on shipping containers: 335

#3 Scaffolding Safety

Standard 1926.451 – This standard covers the general safety, design, and construction requirements for scaffolding. The standard asserts that employers must protect workers from falls and falling objects when working at heights of 10 feet or more.

Total Violations: 3,900safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Fall protection for employees at a height greater than 10 feet: 614
  2. Scaffold platforms more than 2 feet above/below a point of access: 507
  3. Work levels are fully planked: 464
  4. Personal fall arrest systems: 324
  5. Guardrail systems along open sides/ends of platforms: 203

#4 Respiratory Protection

Standard 1910.134 – This standard lists the requirements for a respiratory protection program along with worksite-specific procedures, respiratory selection, employee training, fit testing, medical evaluation, respiratory use, cleaning, maintenance, and repair.

Total Violations: 3,573safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Medical evaluation for respiratory protection: 615
  2. Respiratory protection requirement: 499
  3. Respirator fit testing: 341
  4. Employer established respiratory program: 241
  5. Employer identified respiratory hazards: 235

#5 Lockout/Tagout

Standard 1910.147 – This standard regulates minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

Total Violations: 3,406safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. General procedures: 644
  2. Energy control program: 440
  3. Employer conducted inspections: 376
  4. Training: 289
  5. Employee training in recognition of hazardous energy sources: 196

#6 Powered Industrial Trucks

Standard 1910.178 – This standard covers the design, maintenance and operation of powered industrial trucks, forklifts, and motorized hand trucks, as well as operator training requirements.

Total Violations: 2,855safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Safe operation: 617
  2. Operator performance evaluations: 298
  3. Certification: 288
  4. Truck repair and maintenance: 255
  5. Training: 185

#7 Ladder Safety

Standard 1926.1053 – This standard applies to the general requirements for all

Total Violations: 2,625
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Portable ladder access: 1,458
  2. Used only for the designed purpose: 354
  3. Top step used as a step: 235
  4. No structural defects: 127
  5. Employee does not carry any object or load that could cause a fall: 75

#8 Machine Guarding

Standard 1910.212 – This standard applies to the covers guarding machinery designed to protect operators and other employees from hazards such as ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.

Total Violations: 2,448safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Multiple methods provided for protection from hazards: 1,489
  2. Point of operation: 616
  3. Anchored fixed machinery: 156
  4. General requirements: 69
  5. Exposure of blades: 49

#9 Electrical – Wiring Methods

Standard 1910.305 – This standard regulates the grounding, wiring, and insulation of electrical equipment, including temporary wiring and splicing.

Total Violations: 1,937safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Substitute for fixed wiring: 338
  2. Effectively closed openings: 314
  3. Flexible cords and cable: 302
  4. Covers and canopies: 250
  5. Conductors in cutout boxes: 76

#10 Electrical – General Requirements

Standard 1910.303 – This standard applies to the general safety requirements for the design of electrical systems.

Total Violations: 1,704safety
Top Sections Cited: # of Violations

  1. Installation and use: 446
  2. Live part guarding: 169
  3. Working space requirements: 168
  4. Space about electrical equipment: 166

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