For the 11th consecutive year, Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)) was the year’s most frequently cited standard. This was followed by Respiratory Protection (1910.134) and Ladders (1926.153) as second and third respectively.

This list of top safety violations was presented during the 2021 NSC Safety Congress & Expo by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs. (List is for FY 2021 – Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021)

Although the top 10 list has remained mostly consistent, it reinforces the importance of staying vigilant about worker safety and health and shows where we can improve workplace safety.

This list is a good place to start when reviewing safety needs for your business or when making a safety plan.

Preliminary Top 10 Safety Violations for FY 2021

This is deemed preliminary since OSHA does not post the top ten violations until after the first week in April giving the prior fiscal year’s inspection data time to finalize past the close of the fiscal year.

1. Fall Protection, General Requirements (1926.501)
Employers are required to ensure fall protection systems are in place to prevent employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into holes in the floor and walls.

2. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
Respirators protect users through the removal of contaminants from the air or by supplying clean respirable air from another source.

3. Ladders (1926.1053)

4. Scaffolding (1926.451)

5. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
Information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers.

6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
The regulation addresses preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees service and maintain equipment.

7. Fall Protection, Training Requirements (1926.503)
This regulation references the training related to fall protection, including notification of hazards and documented training records.

8. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment, Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)
Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
Citations for this standard can result from using defective industrial trucks and failure to certify operators.

9. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from injuries from machine parts, functions and processes that may cause injury.

10. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from injuries from machine parts, functions and processes that may cause injury.

For Comparison

Most Cited Violations of 2020
1. Fall Protection, General Requirements (1926.501)
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
3. Scaffolding (1926.451)
4. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
5. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
6. Ladders (1926.1053)
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
8. Fall Protection, Training Requirements (1926.503)
9. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment, Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)

Most Cited Violations of 2019
1. Fall Protection (1926.501)
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
3. Scaffolding – General Requirements (1926.451)
4. Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
5. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
6. Ladders (1926.1053)
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
9. Machine Guarding– General Requirement (1910.212)
10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)

Resources

• A more in-depth analysis of the Top 10 violations for 2021 will be published in the December 2021 edition of Safety+Health magazine, a National Safety Council publication.
Q&A with OSHA’s Patrick Kapust

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