By: Karl Weisser

July 2015

Each year, OSHA pinpoints 10 violations that are most frequently cited from the previous fiscal year (October 1st, 2013 – September 30th, 2014). Many of these violations are reoccurring and are found on many other top ten lists from the past few years. OSHA not only displays these on their website to show what many employers and employees did wrong, but it is ultimately a tool used to draw the attention and alert employers about these standards in order to find and take the necessary steps to address and abate these hazards before an incident occurs.

In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, OSHA had a total of 36,163 federal inspections and 47,217 State planned inspections. Of those inspections, 36,593 violations were included on the top ten most frequented cited standards. On the list, three out of the ten are Construction Standards (29 CFR 1926) while the remaining 7 are General Industry (s9 CFR 1910).  The list is as follows:

1.      1926.501 - Fall Protection (7,516 Violations)

2.      1910.1200 - Hazard Communication (6,148 Violations)

3.      1926.451 – Scaffolding (4,968 Violations)

4.      1910.134 - Respiratory Protection (3,843 Violations)

5.      1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks (3,147 Violations)

6.      1910.147 - Lockout/Tagout (3,117 Violations)

7.      1926.1053 – Ladders (2,967 Violations)

8.      1910.305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods (2,907 Violations)

9.      1910.212 - Machine Guarding (2,520 Violations)

10.  1910.303 - Electrical, General Requirements (2,427 Violations)

The Fall Protection Standard outlines when fall protection is required (6 feet or more above lower levels in construction and 4 feet or more above lower levels in general industry), which fall protection systems are appropriate in different situations, and how to prevent falls from occurring. The top five sections cited for Construction standards are: 1926.501(b)(13) Residential Construction, 1926.501(b)(1) Unprotected Sides and Edges, 1926.501(b)(10) Roofing Work on Low-Slope Roofs, 1926.501(b)(11) Steep Roofs, and 1926.501(b)(4)(i) Protection from Falling through Holes. The Hazard Communication Standard has been aligned with the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The purpose of this standard is to ensure all hazards of a chemical produced or imported are classified and the information is conveyed to the employer and employees. The top five sections cited under the Hazard Communication standard are: 1910.1200(h)(1)  Employee information and Training, 1910.1200(e)(1)Developing, Implementing and Maintaining a Written Hazard Communication Program, 1910.1200(g)(1) Developing and Maintaining Safety Data Sheets (SDS), 1910.1200(f)(1) Labels on Shipped Containers, and 1910.1200(j)(1) Employee Training on New Label Elements and Safety Data Sheet format by December 1st, 2013.

Scaffolding is the third most frequently cited standard, and this standard describes the general safety requirements for scaffolding, and protecting workers from falls and falling objects at heights of 10 feet or higher. The top five sections cited are: 1926.451(g) Fall Protection, 1926.451(b)(1) Platform to be Fully Planked or Decked between Front Uprights and Guardrail Supports, 1926.451€ Access Requirements, 1926.451(c) Criteria for Supported Scaffolds, and 1926.451(f)(1) Use for Scaffolds and Components not to Exceed Rated Capacities. The Respiratory Protection Standard not only applies to the General Industry (part 1910), but also applies to Shipyards (1915), Marine Terminals (1917), Longshoring (1918), and Construction (1926). This standard helps guides and directs employers to establish and/or maintain a respiratory program. The top sections cited are as followed: 1910.134(c)(1) Establishing and Implementing a Written Respiratory Protection Program, 1910.134(e)(1) Medical Evaluation General Requirements, 1910.134(f) Fit Testing, 1910.134(k) Training and Information, and 1910.134(d) Selection of Respirators.

The fifth most frequently cited standard is Powered Industrial Trucks. This standard also applies to Construction and descibes the maintenance, design, use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks. Top cited sections under this standard are: 1910.178(l)(1)(i) Truck operator is a competent person to operate safely, 1910.178(q)(1) Any Power-operated Industrial Truck Not in Safe Operating Condition Shall be Removed from Service, 1910.178(p)(1) Removing Defective Trucks Out of Service until it has been Restored to Safe Operating Conditions, 1910.178(a) General Requirements, and 1910.178(m)(1) Trucks Shall not be Driven up to Anyone Standing. The Lockout/Tagout Standard covers servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the machine/equipment could harm employees. The top five cited sections include: 1910.147(c)(1) Establishing and Training Employees on Energy Controlling Procedures, 1910.147(d) Application of Controls, f)(1) Testing or Positioning of Machines, Equipment or Components, 1910.147(e)(1) Inspecting the Work Area to Ensure Nonessential Items have been Removed and that Machine or Equipment Components are Operationally Intact, and 1910.147(a) Scope, Application, and Purpose.

Ladders in all industries are the seventh most frequently cited violation for 2014. Top five sections cited under this standard include: 1926.1053(b)(1) Requires Ladder Side Rails to Extend At Least Three Feet Above the Upper Landing Surface, 1926.1053(b)(4) Use of Ladders Restricted to Only the Purpose to which they are Designed, 1926.1053(b)(13) The Top or Top Step of a Stepladder Shall not be Used at a Step, 1926.1053(b)(16) Remove Defective Ladders from Service and Tag “Do Not Use”, and 1926.1053(b)(6) Ladders Shall be used Only on Stable and Level Surfaces unless Secured to Prevent Accidental Displacement. Electrical, Wiring Methods standards covers the grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation and also includes temporary wiring and splicing such as flexible cords. The top five sections cited are 1910.305(g)(1)(i) Flexible Cords and Cables Shall be Approved for Conditions of Use and Location, 1910.305(b)(1)(i) Conductors Entering Cutout Boxes, Cabinets, or Fittings Shall be Protected from Abrasions, 1910.305(a)(1)(i) Effective Bonding of Metal Non-Current Carrying Parts are to Serve as Grounding Conductors, 1910.305(j)(1)(i), Fixtures, Lamps, Rosettes and Receptacles may have no Live Parts Normally Exposed to Employee Contact, and 1910.305(e)(1) Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, Fittings, Boxes, and Panelboard Enclosures shall be weatherproof in wet locations.

The Machine Guarding standard describes guarding of machinery to protect employees from the hazards created by points of operations, nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. The top sections cited are: 1910.212(a)(1) Types of Guarding, 1910.212(a)(3)(ii) Guarding of Points of Operations, 1910.212(b) Anchoring Fixed Machinery, 1910.212(a)(2) General Machine Guard Requirements, and 1910.212(a)(5) Exposed Blade Guarding Requirements.  Finally the tenth standard is Electrical, General Requirements. This standard lists general safety requirements for designing electrical systems. The top sections cited include: 1910.303(b)(1) Examination of Electric Equipment, 1910.303(g)(1) Space About Electrical Equipment, 1910.303(f) Disconnecting Means and Circuits, 1910.303(e)(1) Identification of Manufacturer and Ratings, and 1910.303(c)(1)(i) Devices such as Pressure Terminal or Pressure Splicing Connectors and Soldering Lugs shall be Identified for the Material of the Conductor and shall be Properly Installed and Used.


The top 10 list gives employers and employees something to be aware of and working to abate these hazards, and many others, should be the goal of everyone in the workplace. OSHA provides more detailed information regarding frequently cited OSHA standards on its website. In order to stay in compliance with all OSHA standards, protect employees, and become role models of excellence, Safety Resources, Inc. possesses the skills and quality performance your company is capable of achieving. 





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