CitationsOSHA has released its list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations that occurred in the last fiscal year. Not surprisingly, the list has hardly changed from previous years. Employers who take a proactive approach with regard to their health and safety culture find themselves consistently ahead of the curve. These companies know what OSHA is looking for when OSHA shows up unannounced, and are prepared to demonstrate their businesses are compliant with OSHA standards. The top 10 hazards are:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

Employers that do not implement a solid safety and health program addressing such hazards find themselves among workplaces that have serious worker injuries and face serious citations. Last year alone more than 4,500 workers were killed, and approximately 3 million were injured.

No employer can escape these hazards. The top 10 citations span every industry, and range from fall hazards in construction or energy to lockout/tagout in manufacturing or food production to electrical wiring in nearly every line of work. Moreover, there were 32,000 federal OSHA inspections last year – and OSHA will continue to vigorously go after companies that do not comply with these standards.

To decrease the likelihood of injury in their workforce and the risks of serious OSHA citations, companies can hire a team to conduct a thorough audit of workplace safety rules and culture to ensure the business is compliant with OSHA’s standards. Moreover, such a team can suggest best practices to ensure a safe workplace with minimal worker injuries. This will reduce liability with OSHA for both the most common OSHA citations and any others that may arise.