Every year, OSHA publishes a list of the top 10 most frequently cited safety violations for the previous fiscal year. Once again, this list was released at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo this past September 2019.

Why does OSHA publish this list? It is one way to keep employers up-to-date about commonly cited standards so that steps can be taken to fix any that might exist or to prevent them from occurring.

Most Frequently Cited Violations in 2019

For the ninth consecutive year, Fall Protection – General Requirements tops the list as OSHA’s most frequently cited standard.

This ranking is based on preliminary data covering violations cited from October 1, 2018, through August 31, 2019. The rankings should remain consistent with the final release of data.

  • Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout or LOTO), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  • Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  • Fall protection–training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
  • Machinery and machine guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components, and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)

Tips to Avoid OSHA Violations

  • Review your safety practices to prepare for the new year.
  • Evaluate your job sites and worker behavior.
  • Review any accidents, investigations and follow up actions taken that may help to prevent future incidents.
  • Evaluate safety protocols with federal and state OSHA requirements.
  • Refresh team training.
  • Talk about common violations with your team in safety meetings, toolbox tips and more. Have them identify any unsafe conditions or unsafe practices.
  • Update safety records

Top 10 “Serious” Violations, Fiscal Year 2019

  • Fall Protection (1926.501)
  • Scaffolding (1926.451)
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
  • Ladders (1926.1053)
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212)
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
  • Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)

OSHA defines a “serious” violation as “one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”

Top 10 “Willful” Violations, Fiscal Year 2019

  • Fall Protection (1926.501)
  • Requirements for Protective Systems (1926.652)
  • Permit-Required Confined Spaces (1910.146)
  • Scaffolding (1926.451)
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212)
  • Specific Excavation Requirements (1926.651)
  • Asbestos (1926.101)
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)

OSHA defines a “willful” violation as one “committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.”

Rankings based on OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30. Data current as of Nov. 1.

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