Preliminary 2020 Top 10 Most Commonly Cited OSHA Violations

by Mike Viola

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recently released preliminary data for the top 10 most commonly cited violations for the 2020 fiscal year. For the tenth consecutive year, ‘General Requirements for Fall Protection’ lands at number one, with other minor jockeying of categories throughout the list.

Most importantly, the third most common violation is ‘Scaffolding’. This is referring to Scaffold accidents that are most often the result of planking or support giving way, an employee slipping, or an employee being struck by a falling object.

OSHA publishes this list in an effort to alert employers about standards the agency has issued the most citations for, with the hope of employers learning from these results and taking steps to find and mitigate the hazards addressed in the list before an issue occurs again.

OSHA officials and safety professionals alike believe that most injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace are preventable, if compliance is met and safety measures are implemented and followed. Ascinsure’s Risk Engineering team works year-round with our broker-partners to ensure their insureds have access to a multitude of industry-specific safety tools, documents, information and professionals.

If you would like to discuss your insured’s scaffold-specific safety and risk management needs, please reach out HERE. See below for additional Scaffold related safety information.

1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection (Construction standard) – 8,241 violations: Any time a worker is at a height of four feet or more, the worker is at risk and needs to be protected. Fall protection must be provided at four feet in general industry, five feet in maritime and six feet in construction.

2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication – 6,156 violations: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers.

3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding5,423 (Construction standard) – 5,423 violations: Scaffold accidents most often result from the planking or support giving way, or from the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.

4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection – 3,879 violations: Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, other diseases or death.

5. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout – 3,254 violations: “Lockout-Tag out” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

6. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,340 violations: Each year, thousands of injuries related to powered industrial trucks (PIT), or forklifts, occur in US workplaces. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks, lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer, they are struck by a lift truck, or when they fall while on elevated pallets and tines.

7. 1926.1053 – Ladders (Construction standard) – 3,311 violations: Occupational fatalities caused by falls remain a serious public health problem. The US Department of Labor (DOL) lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma.

8. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods – 3,452 violations: Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and sales people, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

9. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding – 2,701 violations: Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injures the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled.

10. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements – 2,745 violations: Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and sales people, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

Additional Scaffold Safety Information:

Common Scaffolding Risk

Scaffold Planking & Wind Uplift

Common Scaffold Coverages

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