The top 10 most cited violations by federal OSHA in the first 10.5 months of fiscal year 2019 accounted for 26,915 violations.
Here are the top 10, released at the National Safety Council’s 2019 Congress, along with how many violations (from Oct. 1, 2018 to Aug. 15, 2019), the most affected industries and what OSHA inspectors are seeing other companies doing wrong:
- Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501), 6010 violations
This is the ninth year in a row this Construction standard has had the most OSHA violations. OSHA Deputy Director for its Enforcement Directorate, Patrick Kapust, says unprotected sides or edges, fall protection for sloped roofs, and workers not being protected from falling through a roof via structures like skylights are some primary places where employers are missing the mark. Among those most cited: roofing contractors, masonry contractors, and commercial and home builders.
- Hazard communication (1910.1200), 3,671 violations
Problems that come up the most: no hazcom program, no worker training on hazcom, and lack of safety data sheets (SDSs). Employers most cited: masonry contractors, painting and wall covering contractors, machine shops, and general contractors.
- Scaffolding (1926.451), 2,813 violations
Where companies are going wrong: Using cross-braces as scaffold access, not fully planking, scaffolds not on firm foundations, and no guardrails. Employers most cited: masonry contractors, roofing contractors and commercial builders.
- Lockout/tagout (1910.147), 2,606 violations
Companies cited don’t have LO/TO rules for specific machines, employees aren’t trained, there’s no periodic evaluation of the program, and LO/TO devices aren’t affixed. Among industries most cited: product manufacturing and sawmills.
- Respiratory protection (1910.134), 2,450 violations
Companies aren’t providing employees with a medical evaluation before they use respirators, they don’t have a respiratory protection program, and employees don’t receive a fit test. Most cited: Auto maintenance, masonry contractors, cut stone contractors and painting and wall covering contractors.
- Ladders (1926.1053), 2,345 violations
Problems inspectors find most: ladders not extending at least three feet above a landing, using the wrong type of ladder, employees using the top step, and ladder structural defects. Most cited: Roofing, framing, siding and painting contractors.
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178), 2,093 violations
Problems inspectors find most: trucks not operating in a safe manner, operators not re-evaluated every three years, no certificate of training, and trucks in unsafe condition. Most cited: warehouses, framing contractors and machine shops.
- Fall protection – Training requirements (1926.503), 1773 violations
Inspectors find employees weren’t provided training, there’s no written certification, training is inadequate, and employees don’t retain training. Most cited: roofing, framing, siding, commercial and residential contractors.
- Machine guarding (1910.212), 1,743 violations
Employers aren’t guarding points of operation, equipment isn’t anchored properly and fan blades aren’t guarded. Most cited: machine shops and metal shops.
- Personal protective equipment – eye and face protection (1926.102), 1,411 violations
Workers aren’t protected from flying parts, liquid chemicals and radiant energy (welding), and there’s no side protection for eyes. Most cited: roofing, framing, masonry and siding contractors.
Kapust says the list of industries for each violation isn’t comprehensive; they’re just some of those most often cited.
However, OSHA does perform more inspections in the industries with the higher number of violations, according to Kapust.
This data is preliminary because the federal fiscal year doesn’t end until Sept. 30, 2019. OSHA will update the top 10 at that time. This also means the number of violations reported at the NSC Congress appear lower than final figures for last year because they only represent 10.5 months of data.