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Safety Management

Top 10 OSHA Violations: 2020

3/10/21
Grainger Editorial Staff

In February 2021, OSHA released preliminary data for the top 10 most-cited violations in fiscal year 2020. The data includes violations cited between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020.

The preliminary data was released on a webinar presented by the National Safety Council's Safety + Health magazine. During the webinar, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at OSHA, said that this data can be valuable tool for companies that are developing their safety programs: "Use the top 10 as a guide for your workplace. It's a good place to start if you don't know where to start."

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)
5,424 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
Construction:
Roofing contractors; framing contractors; masonry contractors; commercial and institutional building construction; new single family housing construction
1926.501(b)(13): Fall protection for residential construction Construction Fall Protection Standards

OSHA General Industry vs. Construction Industry Standards
1926.501(b)(1): Fall protection at unprotected sides and edges
1926.501(b)(10): Fall protection for roofing work on low-slope roofs
1926.501(b)(11): Fall protection for steep roofs
1926.501(b)(4): Fall protection for holes

2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
3,199 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
General industry:
Masonry contractors; roofing contractors; automotive body, paint, and interior repair and maintenance shops; general automotive repair; machine shops
1910.1200(e)(1): Developing and maintaining written hazard communication program Hazard Communication Standards

Alternative Workplace Labeling

Global Harmonized System: A Closer Look
1910.1200(h)(1): Provide employees with information and training on hazardous chemicals
1910.1200(g)(8): Maintaining and having readily accessible safety data sheets
1910.1200(f)(6): Workplace labeling
1910.1200(g)(1): Chemical manufacturers and importers to develop safety data sheets

3. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
2,649 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
General industry:
Automotive body, paint, and interior repair and maintenance shops; cut stone and stone product manufacturing; metal coating, engraving and allied services; masonry contractors; nursing care facilities
1910.134(e)(1): Medical evaluation: general Selecting and Using Particulate Respirators

Starting a Respiratory Protection Program

Qualitative Fit Testing

Quantitative Fit Testing
1910.134(c)(1): Written respiratory protection program
1910.134(f)(2): Fit testing
1910.134(c)(2): Respiratory protection programs where respirator use is not required
1910.134(d)(1): General requirements for respirator selection

4. Scaffolding (1926.451)
2,538 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
Construction:
Roofing contractors; framing contractors; commercial and institutional building construction
1926.451(g)(1): Fall protection requirements OSHA Scaffolding Requirements for Construction and General Industry
1926.451(e)(1): General access requirements
1926.451(b)(1): Scaffolds fully planked and decked
1926.451(c)(1): Scaffolds restrained from tipping
1926.451(g)(4): Scaffolds installed with guardrails

5. Ladders (1926.1053)
2,129 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
Construction:
Roofing contractors; framing contractors; siding contractors; masonry contractors; new single family housing construction
1926.1053(b)(1): Use of portable ladders Are Your Ladders Compliant? OSHA and ANSI Ladder Requirements

Ladder Safety Tips and Best Practices
1926.1053(b)(4): Use of ladders only for purposes for which they were designed
1926.1053(b)(13): Top or top step of stepladder not to be used as a step
1926.1053(b)(16): Portable ladders with structural defects withdrawn from service until repaired
1926.1053(b)(22): Employees not to carry objects or loads that could cause them to lose balance and fall

6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
2,065 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
General industry:
Plastic product manufacturing; sawmills; machine shops; wood container and pallet manufacturing; fabricated metal manufacturing
1910.147(c)(4): Energy control procedures When Does the Lockout/Tagout Standard Apply?

Lockout/Tagout Steps for Construction Sites Types of Padlocks
1910.147(c)(7): Training and communication
1910.147(c)(6): Periodic inspection of LOTO procedures
1910.147(c)(1): Energy control program
1910.147(d): Application of control

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
1,932 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
General industry:
General warehousing and storage; cut stone and stone product manufacturing; recyclable material merchant wholesaling
1910.178(l)(1): Operator training in safe operations Forklift Safety Training Guide

Forklift Battery Changing Safety

Loading Dock Safety
1910.178(l)(4): Refresher training and evaluation
1910.178(l)(6): Certification of operator training
1910.178(p)(1): Taking PITs in need of repair out of service
1910.178(q)(1): Repairs performed by authorized personnel

8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
1,621 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
Construction
1926.503(a)(1): Fall protection training program Fall Protection Standards
1926.503(b)(1): Maintaining written certification of training
1926.503(a)(2): Training by a competent, qualified person
1926.503(c)(3): Retraining after inadequacies are found
1926.503(c): Retraining

9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)
1,369 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
Construction:
Roofing contractors; framing contractors; masonry contractors; siding contractors
1926.102(a)(1): Use of appropriate eye and face protection Construction Fall Protection Standards

OSHA General Industry vs. Construction Industry Standards
1926.102(a)(2): Use of eye protection that provides side protection
1926.102(a)(3): Use of eye protection that incorporates or can be worn over prescription lenses
1926.102(b)(1): Criteria for protective eye and face protection

10. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
1,313 Violations

Commonly Cited Industry Sectors Commonly Cited Substandards Additional Resources
General industry:
Machine shops; plastic products manufacturing; fabricated structural metal manufacturing; sheet metal manufacturing
1910.212(a)(3): Points of operation guarding OSHA Machine Guarding Requirements
1910.212(b): Anchoring of fixed machinery
1910.212(a)(5): Exposure of bladesThe announcement webinar is available here.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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