Most Cited Safety Violations

OSHA recently released their 2011 statistics for the “Top 10” most frequently cited violations. We have documented these below and listed the top hazards for each violation which affect our readership.

#1 Scaffolding: 7,139 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Fall protection on scaffolds

. Guardrail provisions

#2 Fall Protection: 7.069 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to provide adequate fall protection in several scenarios

#3 Hazard Communication: 6,538 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to develop and maintain a written Haz Comm Program

. Failure to maintain proper training

. Failure to label hazardous chemical containers

 #4 Respiratory Protection: 3,944 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Where respirators are necessary, failure to develop a written protection program

. Failure to have medical evaluation before use

. Annual fit testing requirements not met

#5 Lockout/Tagout: 3,639 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to develop, document and use procedures

. Failure to periodically inspect the control procedures

. Lack of employee training and communication

#6 Electrical Wiring: 3,584 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Use of flexible cords and cables

. Failure to provide electrical boxes with proper covers

. Use of temporary wiring / extension cords

#7 Powered Industrial Trucks: 3,432 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to ensure operator competency

. Failure to ensure required refresher training and evaluations

. Failure to remove unsafe trucks from operation

. Failure to examine trucks before they are used

#8 Ladders:3,244 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to extend ladder side rails at least 3 feet above landing surface ladder is used to access

. Using ladders for purposes other than for which they were designed

. Using top step of ladder as a step

. Failure to mark defective ladders with a “Do Not Use” notification

#9 Electrical – General Requirements: 2,863 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to install and use electrical equipment as designed

. Failure to keep work spaces clear

. Failure to guard electrical equipment

#10 Machine Guarding: 2,728 Violations – Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to provide proper machine guarding

. Failure to anchor fixed machinery

. Failure to guard exposed blades

The penalties OSHA assesses for failure to adhere to safe workplace practices, which put workers at risk, can be significant, especially if it is a repeat violation.

Two examples:

A Southern manufacturer with over 150 facilities was assessed with $487,000 in penalties/fines following a re-inspection.  Major citations noted were:

. Blockage of exit doors

. Missing Exit signs

. Unapproved electrical equipment

. Various Lock/Tagout issues

A East coast plant was assessed $917,000 in penalties/fines following an incident.  Major citations included:

. Incomplete and deficient emergency response plan

. Inadequate employee training in fire prevention

. Obstructed emergency exits

. Electrical hazards

Knowing OSHA’s ‘Top 10′ Most Cited Violations should assist you in analyzing your own operations to ensure they are in compliance. We highly recommend this analysis take place in the very near future, so you can have a safe 2012!

Editor’s Note: If you have questions concerning OSHA violations or in creating a pro-active Safety Program to address OSHA’s requirements, don’t hesitate to contact us at (813) 991-5628 or visit our website at $

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