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Top 10 Workplace Safety OSHA Violations for 2019

For fiscal year 2019, the National Safety Council (NSC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently revealed preliminary top ten most frequently cited workplace safety violations.  It may not come as a surprise that Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) once again tops the list as the most frequently occurring workplace safety violation.  Fall Protection – General Requirements, which makes up more than 20 percent of all citations, has been the top of this list for nine consecutive years.

Furthermore, the rest of the Top 10 workplace safety rankings remained relatively unchanged from fiscal year 2018.   There is one change with Lockout/Tagout.  Namely, Lockout/Tagout which was ranked fifth in fiscal year 2018, went up one level to number 4, essentially trading places with Respiratory Protection.  Eye and Face Protection was new to last year’s top ten list, and it remains in the number 10 ranking.

In addition, the penalties for 2019 citations are expensive.  They start at $13,260 per workplace safety violation.  Failure to abate may lead to fines of $13,260 per violation per day beyond the abatement date.  Failure to address an OSHA violation may result in a $132,598 penalty per violation.  OSHA reported on 9,196 inspections which have resulted in 22,859 citations which total over $71.5 million dollars for the 2019 fiscal year.

By the way, there’s good news!  The good news is that the total number of violations in this 2019 top ten list dropped 15 percent since 2018.

OSHA Top 10 (with FY 2019 preliminary figures as of August 15, 2019)

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (Standard 1926.501)
    Violations:  6,010 in 2019 (down about 17% from 7,270 in 2018)
  1. Hazard Communication (Standard 1910.1200)
    Violations:  3,671 in 2019 (down about 19% from 4,552 in 2018)
  1. Scaffolding (Standard 1926.451)
    Violations:  2,813 in 2019 (down about 16% from 3,336 in 2018)
  1. Lockout/Tagout (Standard 1910.147)
    Violations:  2,606 in 2019 (down about 11% from 2,944 in 2018)
  1. Respiratory Protection (Standard 1910.134)
    Violations:  2,450 in 2019 (down about 21% from 3,118 in 2018)
  1. Ladders (Standard 1926.1053)
    Violations:  2,345 in 2019 (down about 17% from 2,812 in 2018)
  1. Powered Industrial Trucks (Standard 1910.178)
    Violations:  2,093 in 2019 (down about 9% from 2,294 in 2018)
  1. Fall Protection Training Requirements (Standard 1926.503)
    Violations:  1,773 in 2019 (down about 11% from 1,982 in 2018)
  1. Machine Guarding (Standard 1910.212)
    Violations:  1,743 in 2019 (down about 12% from 1,972 in 2018)
  1. Eye and Face Protection (Standard 1926.102)
    Violations:  1,411 in 2019 (down about 8% from 1,536 in 2018)

Importance of OSHA’s Top 10 List

OSHA’s regulations are in place to help secure workplace safety for workers.  This top 10 OSHA violations list reflects trends and provides comparisons in violations from year to year. Having this list and corresponding numbers also illustrates areas needing continued or increased attention.  It’s one step toward knowing how workers are injured so changes can be made in the workplace to keep workers safe.

In a September 10 press release Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO stated, “Far too many preventable injuries and deaths occur on the job.  The Top 10 OSHA violations list is a helpful guide for understanding just how adept America’s businesses are in complying with the basic rules of workplace safety.   This list should serve as a challenge for us to do better as a nation and expect more from employers.  It should also serve as a catalyst for individual employees to re-commit to safety.”

In particular, it’s concerning that year after year, fall protection tops the list.

Avoiding the Top OSHA Violation

We understand that fall protection is important in workplace safety.  Safety is our priority.   We offer quality fall protection products, 100% made in the U.S.A., fully tested and meet OSHA requirements.  Consider minimizing fall risks and avoiding OSHA fall protection violations by installing our non-penetrating 360 mobile safety rail system.  This safety rail system uses weighted cast-iron plates and railings for a barrier around workplace safety hazards.  Further, this safety rail system is freestanding and can be utilized as a temporary or permanent fall protection system.  In addition to EDGE’s 360 mobile safety rail system, our products also include ladder guards, access ladders, roof crossovers ladders, roof hatch guardrails, and more.

Are you concerned about minimizing fall risks to avoid the top 10 OSHA violations list and keep workers safe? Perhaps you’re wondering if there’s an area needing fall protection to avoid OSHA violations in the workplace?  Reach out to us today for a no cost consultation!

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