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Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2020

Patrick Kapust, Deputy Directory of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs recently discussed the top 10 cited safety violations for 2020. At a Feb 26, 2021 webinar 1 he can be quoted with “Use the Top 10 as a guide for your workplace. It’s a good place to start if you don’t know where to start. Look at what OSHA is finding. Look at the things that are applicable to your particular industry as well.”

A variety of violation types are frequently cited, but one has held the top spot for a while. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) is OSHA’s top cited violation for the 10th year running. Almost equaling the 2 nd and 3rd most cited violations combined.

Of these, the most cited single violation 1 at 3,563 violations is Fall Protection’s 1926.501(b)(13) which reads "Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure.”

Top 10 Citations of 2020 Overview 2:

  • Fall Protection – General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.501): 5,424
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,199
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,649
  • Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,538
  • Ladders (1926.1053): 2,129
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,065
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,932
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,621
  • Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection ( 1926.102): 1,369
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,313

1 Kevin Druley. Safety+Health Magazine. March 28, 2021. OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations for FY 2020, https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20956-oshas-top-10-most-cited-violations-for-fy-2020. Accessed April 13, 2021.

2 Safety+Health Magazine. February 26, 2021. 10th year running: Fall Protection leads OSHA’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of most frequently cited violations. https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20900-th-year-running-fall-protection-leads-oshas-annual-top-10-list-of-most-frequently-cited-violations. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Apr 16, 2021 Matt Johnson

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