OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations

OSHA recently released their 2013  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 Fall Protection – General Requirements: Standard 1926.501

8,241 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to provide adequate fall protection

. Failure to supervise employees to prevent falls


#2 Hazard Communication: Standard 1910.1200

6,156 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to develop and maintain a written Haz Comm Program

. Failure to conduct and maintain proper Haz Comm training

. Failure to label hazardous chemical containers

. Obtaining, developing and maintaining MSDS sheets



#3 Scaffolding: Standard 1926.451

5,423 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Fall protection on scaffolds

. Guardrail provisions


#4 Respiratory Protection: Standard 1910.134

3,879 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

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

. Failure to have medical evaluation before use

. Annual fit testing requirements not met


#5 Electrical – Wiring Methods: Standard 1910.305

3,452 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Use of flexible cords and cables

. Failure to provide electrical boxes with proper covers

. Use of temporary wiring / extension cords


#6 Powered Industrial Trucks:

Standard 9101.178

3,340 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to ensure operator competency (unsafe operation)

. Failure to ensure required refresher training and evaluations

. Failure to remove unsafe trucks from operation

. Failure to examine trucks before they are used

. Lack of maintenance of industrial trucks


#7 Ladders: Standard 1926.1053

3,311 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


#8 Lockout/Tagout: Standard 1910.347

3,254 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to develop and maintain a written Lockout/Tagout Program

. Failure to periodically inspect the control procedures

. Lack of employee training and communication

. Lockout or tagout devise application


#9 Electrical – General Requirements: Standard 1910.303

2,745 Violations

Top Sections Cited:

. Failure to install and use electrical equipment as designed

. Failure to keep work spaces clear

. Failure to guard electrical equipment / live parts


#10 Machine Guarding: Standard 1910.212

2,701 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:


1) A manufacturer was assessed with $369,000 in penalties/fines following a re-inspection.  Major citations noted were:

. Failure to mount and identify fire extinguishers

. Lack of employee training on recognizing electrical hazards

. Lack of machine guarding

. Improper storage of acetylene and oxygen tanks

. Various electrical hazards


2) A facility was assessed over $325,000 in penalties/fines following an incident.  Major citations included:

. Failure to develop and implement hazardous waste handling procedures

. Lack of training to new employees

. Failure to select and use proper personal protection equipment (PPE)

. Lack of PPE training

. Improper storage of flammable liquids

. Lack of a proper Hazard Communication program.


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 2014!


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 www.hayesinternational.com. $


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