Every year OSHA releases the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards.  Several standards changed positions from fiscal year 2020. For instance, “Respiratory Protection” moved to number two and “Hazard Communication” dropped to number five from number two. What’s more, “Fall Protection—General Requirements” remained OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th consecutive fiscal year.

Why it matters?

Since these are the most-cited hazards, odds are good that if an OSHA inspector walked onto your job site today, he or she would find at least one of these violations. It is important to review this list and think about what corrections should be made to become compliant before an inspector shows up at your door, or worse, someone gets hurt.

The List

  1. Fall Protection—General Requirements: 5,295 violations
  2. Respiratory Protection: 2,527 violations
  3. Ladders: 2,026 violations
  4. Scaffolding: 1,948 violations
  5. Hazard Communication: 1,947 violations
  6. Lockout/Tagout: 1,698 violations
  7. Fall Protection—Training Requirements: 1,666 violations
  8. Personal Protective and Life-saving Equipment—Eye and Face Protection: 1,452 violations
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks: 1,420 violations
  10. Machine Guarding: 1,113 violations

Where to start?

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed looking at this list. Here is a great way to get started:

  1. Make a list of all the hazards your employees are faced with. Think about where people have been hurt in the past. Think about where people could get hurt in the future. Think about processes in your company that are risky or that are hazardous. Walk around the warehouse or a job site and look for other hazards may not be on this list.
  2. Once your list of hazards is created, start identifying what is currently being done to control each hazard. Is there an existing safety policy for the hazard? Is training being conducted concerning the hazard?  Are shops, warehouses, or jobsites being inspected and are corrections being made when a hazard is identified?
  3. Identify several action items and begin completing those items. Get others involved, if needed, and don’t forget to get approval from the boss, if you aren’t the one in charge. Keep a record of what has been accomplished and celebrate any victories.

In no time, you will be on your way to a safer workplace. If you run into any problems with this process, contact the Helpside Safety Director, Josh Hancey at jhancey@helpside.com at to assist in identifying and controlling hazards.