At the National Safety Council 2019 Congress & Expo, OSHA released the results of the Top 10 standards most frequently cited for violations across all industries for which OSHA standards apply. OSHA issued nearly 27,000 citations in its Top 10 categories during 2019.
“Knowing how workers are hurt can go a long way toward keeping them safe,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The OSHA Top 10 list calls out areas that require increased vigilance to ensure everyone goes home safely each day.”
Deputy director of OSHA'S Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust,
1. Fall Protection 1926.501
Fall Protection has been the number one most cited violation for the past several years. The fall protection standard is designed to prevent falls, which, according to statistics, account for just about 40 percent of deaths in the construction industry. Not surprisingly, most fall accidents happen on residential work sites where there is little oversight given to fall protection requirements.
To prevent fall injuries and fatalities, it is critical that employers supply their workers with guardrail systems, safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems when working at heights is required. In addition to just providing proper fall protection, the employer is also responsible for ensuring that all employees are trained on how to properly use fall protection and know when to use it.
2. Hazard Communication 1910.1200
The Hazard Communication standard addresses chemical hazards produced or used in the workplace. OSHA’s standard for hazard communication is in line with the international standard but this is still the #2 most cited OSHA violation.
3. Scaffolding 1926.451
The OSHA Scaffolding standard covers safety requirements for scaffolding, which should be designed by a qualified person and constructed exactly in accordance with that design. Employers are required to protect all workers that use scaffolding from falls and falling objects. In addition, all scaffolds should be inspected by a competent person before use by the workers. The workers affected the most by scaffolding hazards include those in charge of framing, roofing, siding, and masonry.
4. Lockout/Tag out 1910.147
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) affects workers that service, repair and maintain equipment or machines. Hazards exist if the equipment being handled can suddenly become energized or started during work.
5. Respiratory Protection 1910.134
OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard directs employers on establishing and maintaining a respiratory protection program in the workplace. All aspects of respiratory protection are covered in this standard including procedures, administration, selection, training, fit testing, evaluation, use, cleaning, maintenance and repair. Employers should be familiar with OSHA’s requirements for voluntary use of respirator dust masks too!.
6. Ladders 1926.1053
7. Powered Industrial Trucks 1910.178
8. Fall Protection - Training Requirements 1926.503
9. Machine Guarding 1910.212
10. Eye and Face Protection 1926.102
"As an employer, what this list can do is give you a place to start," Kapust says. "You can take a look at this list, identify root causes, perform analysis and stop an injury before it occurs."