The Top 10 OSHA Violations

In September, OSHA’s Deputy Director of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced the preliminary list of OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited standards for the current year

It’s the same list as last year, with fall protection retaining the number one spot for the 9th consecutive year. Roofing, framing, masonry, and housing contractors are examples of types of businesses receiving citations. The most common reason for a citation, according to Kapust, is the failure to provide fall protection “near unprotected sides or edges, and on both low- and high-sloping roofs.”

At the No. 2 spot, once again, is hazard communication. Auto repair facilities and painting contractors were standouts among the many different kinds of businesses that received citations in this area in recent months. Hazard communication citations will undoubtedly continue at a high level in the year ahead. Employers should watch for the December release of an update to the current standard.

Many employers use the annual “Top 10” list to gauge the effectiveness of their safety programs and review overall compliance. The list is also instructive in showing where OSHA is currently focusing its energy and resources in scheduling and conducting inspections.

OSHA’s preliminary 2019 Top 10 list (October 1, 2018 – August 15, 2019):

  1. Fall protection, construction: 6,010 violations
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry: 3,671 violations
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction: 2,813 violations
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry: 2,606 violations
  5. Respiratory protection, general industry: 2,450 violations
  6. Ladders, construction: 2,345 violations
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry: 2,093 violations
  8. Fall protection – training requirements: 1,773 violations
  9. Machinery and machine guarding, general requirements: 1,743 violations
  10. Eye and face protection: 1,411 violations

Employers always have a right to contest a citation, and/or challenge it in settlement discussions. If you have received a citation or have compliance concerns in any area of your operations, feel free to contact me.

About the Author: James Laboe

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