Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards, Part 2

OSHA publishes a list of the most frequently cited OSHA standards to alert employers so they may take steps to find and fix recognized hazards. For the ninth consecutive year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard, the agency announced.

The rest of the preliminary list of OSHA’s Top 10 violations for the fiscal year 2019 also remained mostly unchanged from FY 2018, with only one minor change in the top five. Lockout/tagout, which ranked fifth in FY 2018, climbed one spot to No. 4, trading spots with respiratory protection.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the list, based on OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1 to Aug. 15. “Look at your own workplace and see where you can find solutions,” Kapust said. “These are common violations. They’ve been around for a while. The answers are out there.”

The following top 5 violations of FY 2019:

5. Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 2,450 violations.

Failing to establish a program, failing to perform required fit testing, and failing to provide medical evaluations were among the most frequently cited issues.

Auto body refinishing, masonry contractors, painting contractors, and wall covering contractors received the most citations under this standard.

4. Lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,606 violations.

Many employers cited under this standard failed to establish an energy control procedure altogether, while others were cited for failing to provide adequate employee training, failing to conduct periodic evaluations of procedures, and failing to use lockout/tagout devices or equipment. 

Violations were common among plastics manufacturers, machine shops, and sawmills.

3. Scaffolds (construction)—general requirements (29 CFR 1926.451): 2,813 violations.

Common violations included improper decking, failing to provide guardrails where required, and failure to ensure that supported scaffolds are adequately supported on a solid foundation.

Masonry, siding, roofing, and framing contractors were particularly prone to scaffolding violations.

2. Hazard communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 3,671 violations.

Hazard communication has been in the number-two spot for several years.

Common deficiencies include lack of a written program, inadequate training, and failing to develop or maintain safety data sheets (SDSs) properly.

Auto repair facilities and painting contractors were some of the industries that received many hazard communication citations.

1. Fall protection (construction)—general requirements (29 CFR 1926.501): 6,010 violations.

The duty to provide fall protection has been OSHA’s top citation for nine consecutive years.

Common violations under this standard included failure to provide fall protection near unprotected sides or edges and on both low-slope and steep roofs.

Many of the citations were issued to roofing contractors, framing contractors, masonry contractors, and new single-family housing construction contractors.

Fall protection is certainly the most frequent standard with almost 2,400 issued citations more than the second-most cited standard, hazard communication. Almost half the standards in the top ten had fewer than 2,400 total citations!

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Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards, Part 2

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