OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

In the last year or so, many employers have been focused on COVID-19 when it comes to safety in the workplace; while this focus has been much-needed, there are a number of risks and hazards that every roofing and construction professional must take into account when on the job.  After all, construction is one of the most high-risk and dangerous industries when considering work-related injury and fatality trends (source: NSC).

To better understand workplace related risks, OSHA publishes a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards every year.  The list serves as a method for alerting employers about commonly cited standards so they may take necessary steps to identify and address recognized hazards before OSHA shows up to their workplace. In general, and according to OSHA’s website, the agency does not post the top ten violations until after the first week in April; this provides ample time for the prior fiscal year’s inspection data to be finalized past the close of the fiscal year (September 30th).  That being stated, there have been opportunities to gain some early insight and data.

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, safety professionals who attended the National Safety Council’s 2021 Safety Congress Expo in Orlando, Florida gained early access to the latest list of violations.  During the presentation, the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards from OSHA for fiscal year 2021* were listed as follows:

  1. Fall Protection, general requirements (29 CFR 1926.501) – 5,295 violations
  2. Respiratory Protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) – 2,527 violations
  3. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) – 2,026 violations
  4. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) – 1,948 violations
  5. Hazard Communication, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200) – 1,947 violations
  6. Lockout/Tagout, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.147) – 1,698 violations 
  7. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503) – 1,666 violations  
  8. Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102) – 1,452 violations 
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.178) – 1,420 violations 
  10. Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) – 1,113 violations

* Note: The above listed information is preliminary data from Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021.

As noted above, Fall Protection is once again OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th successive fiscal year.  In addition to fall protection, far too many violations that lead to injury, illness or death are preventable.  Although impressive advancements have been made in safety each year, the OSHA Top 10 list reminds us that we must continue to track and identify where improvements can be made, as well as make workplace safety a top priority. 

To learn more about OSHA’s most frequently cited standards and search the top violations of an industry with a specific NAICS code, visit:  https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/citedstandard.html

To gain access to customized safety training and consulting, contact Brauner Safety Services.

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