Top 10 OSHA Violations


Using the most recent data available, we want to cover the top 10 OSHA violations reported. Over OSHA 30,000 citations were made in 2019 – it takes a couple of years to tabulate data to provide an accurate count, but this information is extremely relevant toward improving workers’ safety.

30,000+? Now that’s a lot of citations! Workplace safety is important, and 2020 may deceptively give us a low estimate on violations because of fewer inspections job site inspections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we do see a trend with a decreasing number of violations, so job site safety is moving in the right direction.

Make yourself aware of OSHA violations so you can adjust your workplace guidelines to prevent injuries or deaths.

OSHA Violations:

1. Fall Protection, Construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
a. 6,010 down from 8,241 violations (since 2017)
b. A worker is at risk when they’re at a height of 4 feet or more
c. Fall protection must be utilized in the general industry at 4 feet (5 feet in maritime and 6 feet in construction)

2. Hazard Communication Standard, General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
a. 3,671 down from 6,156 violations
b. Imported or produced chemicals require evaluation
c. Safety data sheets and labels must be prepared to communicate hazard information to both workers and future customers

3. Scaffolding, General Requirements, Construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
a. 2,813 down from 5,423 violations
b. When planking or support gives way, this is when most scaffolding accidents occur
c. Impact from a falling object or slipping can also cause employee injury

4. Lockout/Tagout (AKA Control of Hazardous Energy), General Industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
a. 2,606 down from 3,254 violations
b. Lockout-Tagout safeguards employees against unexpected machinery or equipment startup or energization
c. Hazardous energy release during service or maintenance must also be addressed

5. Respiratory Protection, General Industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
a. 2,450 down from 3,879 violations
b. Respirators are to be used by employees to guard against harmful vapors, sprays, smokes, gases, mists, fogs, dusts, insufficient oxygen environments, and other atmospheric contaminants if they are unable to be controlled by effecting engineering
c. Be aware that these hazards can cancer, lung damage, additional occupational diseases, and even death

6. Ladders, Construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
a. 2,345 down from 3,311 violations
b. Falls account for 8% of all occupational fatalities from trauma
c. It’s a leading cause of traumatic occupational death according to the U.S. Department of Labor

7. Powered Industrial Trucks, General Industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
a. 2,093 down from 3,340 violations
b. Forklifts cause thousands of workplace injuries each year
c. Many workers are injured by: falling from elevated pallets, being struck by a lift truck, inadvertently driving lift trucks off loading docks
d. Lifts can also fall between docks and unsecured trailers

8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
a. 1,743 violations
b. Companies often fail to comply with educating their employees about proper fall protection

9. Machinery and Machine Guarding, General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)
a. 1,743 down from 2,701 violations
b. If a machine (part, function, or process) causes or has the potential to cause injury to an operator or via accidental contact, it must be eliminated or controlled

10. Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
a. 1,411 violations in 2019
b. Acids, caustic liquids, flying particles, chemical vapors, and even light radiation can cause serious eye injuries
c. Appropriate eye and face protection must be used, and employers must ensure prescription lenses are unaffected by wearing eye protection

Keeping employees protected against job site hazards (that can lead to serious injuries) should be a top priority. For assistance in planning out your safety plans, our customers and B2B clients are more than welcome to contact us!