Safety and OSHA News

OSHA’s top 10 violations and fines for 2008

Sure, OSHA has been more “business-friendly” in the last eight years. But it hasn’t been a paper tiger. New statistics on the agency’s citations and penalties for fiscal year 2008 show just the opposite. And with a new administration in January, OSHA is set to issue even more fines.

What’s tripping up companies when OSHA inspectors visit?

These are the top 10 most frequently cited standards in fiscal year 2008 (Oct. 2007 through Sept. 2008):

  1. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) [related topic page]
  2. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) [related topics page]
  3. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) [related topic page]
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) [related topic page]
  5. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) [related topic page]
  6. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305) [related topic page]
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) [related topic page]
  8. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) [related topic page]
  9. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212) [related topics page]
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303) [related topic page]

OSHA assessed the highest penalties for these standards in fiscal year 2008 (October 2007 through September 2008):

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) [related topics page]
  2. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) [related topic page]
  3. Electrical, hazardous (classified) locations (29 CFR 1910.307) [related topic page]
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) [related topic page]
  5. Excavations, requirements for protective systems, construction (29 CFR 1926.652) [related topics page]
  6. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212) [related topics page]
  7. General duty clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act)
  8. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) [related topic page]
  9. Walking-working surfaces, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.22) [related topic page]
  10. Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals (29 CFR 1910.119) [related topic page]

This information is for all types of industries combined in states where federal OSHA conducts safety inspections. You can search for most frequently cited violations in your industry or a state that has its own OSHA program here.

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  • http://OSHAWebsite Melissa Long

    Wow, I just came upon this website. Thank you.

    Very informative, and I will make good use out of it.

    Have a good day!

  • carl.cronin

    Nothing changes but the order of the lists. Spent 30 years in industrial safety, environmental health as a consultant, trainer, educator. The very idea of “safe work practices” must be instilled in the very young as they learn about the basic hazards in life. The necessary awareness is difficult to “teach’ workers. However., one must continue to try. Carl. Cronin- West Hollywood, CA

  • http://ABILITYENGINEERING.COM MICHAEL W. MORGAN

    WHAT IS ON THEIR “HIT” LIST FOR 2009? KNOWING WHAT THEY DID LAST YEAR IS OF NO USE EXCEPT FOR ARCHIVAL DATA

  • http://www.rivanna.org David Atkins

    I agree with Carl Cronin that the list never changes just the order of the citations. As a former compliance officer I saw these and many other serious violations which never seem to be abated.

    I think what should happen is that OSHA and the States which have their own plans should be allowed to cite and fine any employer (no matter who they are). Citing some companies or agencies does nothing to make them change it is just an waste of time and energy.

    Many companies make attempts to be safer but reality sets in and those companies pull up short!
    David

  • Deane Bristow

    For some organizations, fines are just a component of the cost of business. If the fine structure reached into the pockets of corporate executives and elected officials, they might actually have some effect. An additional benefit is that it would also step up the documentation of safety hazards brought to the attention of responsible parties by the Safety Official or Safety Committee.

  • Angelia T. Hogan

    I agree with most of the other commentaries. For some industires that receives multiple citations, it’s just a part of doing business that is, albeit under the table, allocated in the annual budget. The list does not change; just the order and priority. If employers at the facility level, along with their up-stairs management, would be held more criminally liable, then maybe this list would different.

    Yes, Carl, we do have to keep trying.

    Angelia