Every year, OSHA publishes a list of the top 10 most frequently cited safety violations for the previous fiscal year. This preliminary list was shared by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Program, and Safety & Health Magazine, an NSC publication.

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. It provides you with a guide and tool to use.

Most Frequently Cited Violations in 2020

Once again, Fall Protection – General Requirements tops the list as OSHA’s most frequently cited standard.

  • Fall Protection – General Requirements. 1926.501. 5,424 violations
  • Hazard Communication. 1910.1200. 3,199 violations
  • Respiratory Protection. 1910.134. 2,649 violations
  • Scaffolding. 1926.451. 2,538 violations
  • Ladders. 1926.105. 2,129 violations
  • Lockout/Tagout. 1910.147. 2,065 violations
  • Powered Industrial Trucks. 1910.178. 1,932 violations
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements. 1026.503. 1,621 violations
  • Personal Protection & Life Saving Equipment – Eye & Face Protection. 1926.102. 1,369 violations
  • Machine Guarding. 1910.212. 1,313 violations.

How to Use this Data

  • Review your safety practices to prepare for the 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 workers identify any unsafe conditions or unsafe practices.
  • Update safety records

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.”
• 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.”

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