Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2020

Since its establishment in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made strides to keep workers safe. If violations are found during inspections, workplaces will be subject to a recommended or mandatory penalty. Below are the top 10 OSHA violations of 2020:

1. Fall Protection - General Requirements (1926.501): 5,424 violations

According to OSHA, falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. OSHA requires fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations.


2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,199 violations

According to OSHA, in order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers.


3. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,649 violations

Workers are required to wear respirators in various workplaces. Respirators protect workers against insufficient funds oxygen environments. According to OSHA, respirators protect against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. 


4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,538 violations

The standard for scaffolding fall protection at a 10 foot height above a lower level for employees. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)] The height of the toprail for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service before January 1, 2000 can be between 36 inches (0.9 m) and 45 inches (1.2 m). 


5. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,129 violations

Specific requirements are created to ensure worker safety when using ladders. These include loads, angle, rungs, and slipping specifications.


6. Lockout / Tagout (1910.178): 2,065 violations

Lockout / Tagout standards address the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. 


7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,932 violations

According to OSHA, "The hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks vary depending on the vehicle type and the workplace where the truck is used. Each type of truck presents different operating hazards."


8. Fall Protection (1926.503): 1,621 violations

According to OSHA, 1926.503 says, "The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedure to be followed in order to minimize these hazards."


9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment (1926.102): 1,369 violations

"Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards."


10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,313 violations