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Does your work site have any of OSHA's top ten violations?

Each year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a top ten list of the most frequently cited safety standards for both the construction and general industries. The list is a great guide for business owners and management ready to make safety improvements within their own organizations. Do any of these common problems exist in your work site?

Scaffolding (construction)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1926.451
Violations include improper training, poor or no guardrails, improper scaffold construction, poor footing, and missing or improper scaffold components.

Fall protection (construction)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1926.501
Fall protection violations occur when construction workers are not protected by guardrails, personal fall arrest system or hole covers.

Hazard communication (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.1200
Violations include lack of material safety data sheets, no or improper container labeling, lack of training on chemical hazards or the lack of a chemical inventory.

Ladders (construction)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1926.1053
Violations of this standard include damaged or broken ladders still in use, standing on the top rung of stepladders, improper setup or pitch, failure to extend the ladder 3-feet above the support edge and failure to secure ladders to prevent tip-over or kick-out.

Respiratory protection (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.134
Violations in this category include lack of training, lack of medical qualification, improper or lack of respiratory protection, and improper or lack of fit testing.

Control of hazardous energy (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.147
Lockout-tagout is required to prevent accidental machine startup that could injure anyone servicing machines or whenever workers must put body parts or tools into a machine’s point of operation.

Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.305
This section applies to grounding, flexible cord use, circuit breaker panels and general wiring practices.

Powered industrial trucks (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.178
Forklift violations include lack of seat belt use, documented training, maintenance and regular safety inspections prior to the start of each day or shift.

Electrical systems design (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.303
Violations in this category include enclosing of electrical equipment, improper construction and mounting of electrical equipment when workers are exposed to more than 600 volts of electricity.

Machines (general industry)
Standard number: 29 CFR 1910.212
Violations include missing guards or shields, improper grinder tongue guard or tool rest adjustment, open and unprotected belts, pulleys, augers and shafts.

You can protect your employees by taking the time to perform a safety assessment of each work area. The assessment can identify existing and potential hazards. Be sure to follow-up on the results and help drive down your injuries and workers compensation costs.

Find more information about frequently cited standards on OSHA’s website.



  • 02/08/2011
  • Written by Mark Woodward
    Loss Prevention, MEM
  • General Safety, OSHA