The 10 Most Cited OSHA Standards in 2021
It’s important to learn from the past, whether that is our own mistakes or from those around us. As the federal government agency for enforcing workplace safety, OSHA publishes a list of the previous years citations making those lessons a little easier to see.
Looking back at the fiscal year October 2020 – September 2021, we can see the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards. This information can be very useful to tailor your companies safety program and training.
This report is based on Federal OSHA citations, not including citations from states that run their own jurisdiction. There are 27 state-run programs, and while they cover the majority of work in their state, Federal OSHA does still exist for government properties and entities.
1. Duty to have fall protection
*Basically, no fall protection on site. (i.e. a roofer with no harness or lanyards on site)
*Damaged ladders or improper set up and use.
3. General Requirements
*Commonly a lack of paperwork, worksite posters, or missing signage.
4. Training Requirements
*Citation given to business owner for not providing proper training and equipment to employees. (i.e. forklift certification for operator)
5. Eye and Face Protection
6. General Safety and Health Provisions
7. Head Protection
*Hard hats are required any time there is an overhead danger present.
8. Specific Excavation Requirements
*Often this is for trenching, lack of shoring/shielding/cave-in protection.
9. Areal Lifts
*Missing fall protection, certification, or training.
10. Hazard Communications
*Incorrect or missing labels on chemicals (i.e. cleaning products in smaller unmarked bottles)
In total, OSHA conducted 8,444 inspections which resulted in 21,520 citations at a cost of $76.6 million.
The OSH Act was passed in 1970 to promote workplace safety and reduce injuries and illness. it is with the best intentions that they inspect and enforce the standards. Without them, workplaces get out of control, people get hurt or fired, insurance and workman’s comp go through the roof, and everyone loses. We encourage you to take this information and use it for good.
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Here are a few more Toolbox Talks related to this topic: 2022 Top 10, Fall Protection