Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations for FY 2019

Let's get real for a moment. Would OSHA uncover willful or serious safety violations if they showed up at your facility, job site, or warehouse?

Every year, the National Safety Council (NSC) and OSHA publish the Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations with hopes to alert employees about commonly cited standards. The idea is to motivate employers so they can find and fix hazards in and around the workplace. Knowing how workers are getting hurt will go a long way toward keeping them safe.

Still, every year, the numbers of work-related injuries and deaths are astonishing. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job and approximately 3 million are injured, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Blog.  

Since 1970 OSHA has been implementing standards and regulations aimed to keep workers in the construction, agriculture, maritime, and general industry safe. In order to keep these workers safe, proper signs, labels, tags, lockout devices, and PPE will protect and warn workers about potential hazards. 

How can you eliminate safety violations and injuries in your workplace?
Take a look at this list (below) of OSHA’s Top Most Frequently Cited Standards. Use this information to re-evaluate safety in your workplace and make smarter, safer choices.

Ask yourself and your coworkers - Are any of these safety violations a concern in the workplace? If the answer is yes, now is the ideal time to use these safety tips and products to prevent injuries - even death - and costly OSHA fines.

Preliminary figures as of September 2019

#1 Fall Protection

6,010 violations for Fall Protection - General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.501)

Safety Tips: Provide construction and industry workers with guardrails, elevated platforms, required safety harnesses, hard hats, and safety identification to keep them safe from serious injuries. Prevent fall-related injuries by following OSHA regulations. 

#2 Hazard Communication

3.671 violations for Hazard Communication: (29 CFR 1910.1200

Safety Tip: Provide comprehensive hazard communication programs including - container labeling and signage, identifying specific hazards, safety data sheets, and appropriate employee training, per OSHA standards.

#3 Scaffolding 

2,813 violations for Scaffolding 
(29 CFR 1926.451) ?

Safety Tip: Provide each employee working on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level with protection from falling to the lower level.  Install guardrail systems on all open sides and ends of platforms and keep all working levels fully planked or decked in accordance with OSHA standards.

#4 Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout/Tagout 

(2,606 violations for Lockout/Tagout
(29 CFR 1910.147

Safety Tip: Provide your workforce with a written energy control program that includes specific procedures for lockout/tagout. Additionally, ensure all employees have adequate training, and devices needed to securely lockout machines and equipment prior to servicing or maintaining. Follow OSHA regulations to prevent serious injuries.

#5 Respiratory Protection

2,093 violations for Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178

Safety Tip: Provide your workers with a written respiratory protection program to prevent atmospheric contamination. Additionally, when workers are subjected to breathing contaminated air, provide them with equipment to protect their health as noted in OSHA standards.

#6 Ladders

2,345 violations for Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053)

Safety Tip: Provide all employees with training on the proper way to use a ladder. Ensure that all ladders are inspected for quality prior to using and if a ladder is found defective, tag it with a Do Not Use message and make sure the ladder is not accessible to others during servicing. Follow OSHA guidelines for safely using ladders.

#7 Powered
Industrial Trucks

2,093 violations for Powered Industrial Trucks  (29 CFR 1910.178

Safety Tip: Provide all operators of power industrial trucks, forklifts, powered pallet jacks, stand-up rider lift trucks, order pickers, and the like with the appropriate training.  Inspect equipment prior to operating – at least daily and report and correct defects immediately. Also, ensure all operators have a performance evaluation at least once every three years.

#8 Fall Protection-Training Requirements

1,773 violations for Fall Protection - Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)

Safety Tip: Ensure all workers are provided with a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The training should be provided by a qualified competent person as noted by OSHA.

#9 Machine Guarding

1,743 violations for Machinery and Machine Guarding, General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)  

Safety Tip: One or more methods of machine guarding needs to be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are-barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.

#10 Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection

1,411 violations for Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102

Safety Tip: Employers need to ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.