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OSHA’s top ten most cited violations

While year after year, OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited standards remain relatively unchanged, this is the first year that each of the ten highest penalties issued in a fiscal year was more than $1,000,000.  Additionally, OSHA had more egregious and significant cases this year compared with past years.
Here are the top ten:

  1. Scaffolding - 9,056 violations – The highest number of citations stemmed from inadequate fall protection, violation of minimum specifications for construction of scaffolds and safe access to scaffolds.
  2. Fall Protection – 8,224 violations – Increasing 16% from last year, fall protection violations are mostly related to failure to provide adequate protection. Laws govern the height at which workers must be protected; however, regardless of the fall distance, fall protection must be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery.
  3. Hazard Communication – 7,179 violations – Over one-third of the violations relate to failure to develop and maintain a written program. Other common violations are failure to communicate properly with and train employees on protections from hazards, Material Safety Data Sheets non-compliance and labels on hazardous chemicals.
  4. Respiratory Protection – 4,224 violations - Common violations are failure to establish a written respiratory program, failure to provide medical evaluation to determine employee’s ability to use a respirator, failure to fit test properly and failure to provide training and information.
  5. Ladders – 4,132 violations – Increasing 28% from last year, ladders, which did not appear on the list six years ago, continue to climb higher on the list. Violation of the maintenance and use of ladders in construction is the most common violation.
  6. Lockout-Tag out - 3,756 violations – The most common violation is failure to develop, document and use written hazardous energy control procedures.
  7. Electrical (Wiring) - 3,628 violations - Most common violations include failure to use flexible cords and cable properly and violating requirements for covers, boxes, cabinets and electrical fitting.
  8. Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,453 violations – Inadequate training and evaluation are the most frequently cited violations that lead to tens of thousands of injuries.
  9. Electrical - 2,977 violations - Common violations include failure to install or use equipment in accordance with factory instructions and violations for electrical equipment operators at more than 600 volts.
  10. Machine Guarding - 2,712 violations - Over 85% of the violations relate to general requirements for guarding of machines, in particular, point of operation guarding.