OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Violations of 2015

The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by OSHA for fiscal 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015). The deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the top 10 cited violations for fiscal year 2015 at the National Safety Council’s 2015 Congress and Expo.

Sources: OSHA – Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards; National Safety Council

# Violations
OSHA Standard Link and Description
(C) = Construction Standard
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1926.501 – Fall Protection (C)

These citations are up 578 from fiscal year 2014. The top four construction standards violated all dealt with fall protection. The most citations came from residential construction and roofing work. Frequently, violated requirements included not wearing fall protection and not guarding open sides and edges to prevent falls from roofs.

1910.1200 – Hazard Communication

Employers commonly failed to have a written program, to provide adequate employee education and training, to properly label (or have any label on) containers, and to provide workers with access to safety data sheets. OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard went into effect for all employers June 1, 2015.  The revised rule requires employers to provide hazardous chemical information to their employees using new safety data sheets and labels that are aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

1926.451 – Scaffolding (C)

Scaffolding violations increased by 266 since 2014. Violations include problems with scaffold construction, improper worker access to scaffolding surfaces and lack of guardrails.

1910.134 – Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection violations increased by 82 since 2014. Frequent violations include not having a written respiratory-protection program, having poor fit-test procedures and not conducting required medical evaluations for workers using respirators.

1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout

Lockout/tagout violations increased by nearly 300 since 2014. Frequent violations were having poor or no energy-control procedures, inadequate worker training, and incomplete annual inspections.

1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks

Violations regarding the use of forklifts were up nearly 100 from fiscal year 2014. Common violations were workers not being certified to operate forklifts, workers not being evaluated every three years on their operator skills and inadequate operator training.

1926.1053 – Ladders (C)

Ladder violations were up 41 since 2014. Violations include damaged side rails, using the top ladder step as a rung, using a ladder not suitable for the job and placing excessive loads on ladders.

1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods

Electrical violations that can cause electric shock and electrocutions actually went down in 2015. Violations included problems with flexible cords and cables, using uninsulated wiring and poor use of extension cords.

1910.212 – Machine Guarding

Machine guarding violations increased by 95 since 2014. Violations included point-of-operation exposures and inadequate or no anchoring of fixed machinery. OSHA updated its nine-year-old National Emphasis Program on amputations in June 2015. OSHA compliance officers are directed to evaluate employee exposures during regular operation of machines, setup for regular operations, clearing jams, making adjustments while the machine is operating, cleaning and maintaining machines and locking out or tagging out.

1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements

General industry electrical violations decreased by 83 since 2014. There were more problems in retail establishments this year, referring to blocked electrical panels.