Ten Most Common OSHA Citations

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Last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and related state agencies issued nearly 90,000 citations for alleged violations of safety regulations. The regulations cover nearly all types of employers - from hair salons to hospitals to construction sites - and a wide range of potential hazards defined in safety regulations.

Despite the variety, some types of violations are more frequently found than others. OSHA releases a list of the 10 most common OSHA citations issued each year. For fiscal year 2013, they are:

  1. Fall protection: Employers are required to provide fall protection for employees who work above certain heights. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 8,241 citations for fall protection last year.
  2. Hazard communication: This regulation requires that hazards in chemicals be classified and that information about the hazards are given to employers and employees. According to the NSC, there were 6,156 citations for hazard communication.
  3. Scaffolding: This regulation deals with safety regulations for scaffolding. According to the NSC, there were5,423 citations for scaffolding violations last year.
  4. Respiratory protection: This regulation requires protection from contaminated air. According to the NSC, there were 3,879 respiratory protection citations.
  5. Electrical wiring: These requirements deal with electrical hazards for employees. According to the NSC, there were 3,452 citations.
  6. Powered industrial trucks: These regulations deal with equipment often called forklifts or lift trucks. According to the NSC, there were 3,340 citations.
  7. Ladders: OSHA has specific requirements for the structure and maintenance of portable and fixed ladders. According to the NSC, there were 3,311 citations.
  8. Lockout or tagout: These regulations deal with machines and equipment that could unexpectedly start up or release stored energy and harm employees. According to the NSC, there were 3,254 citations.
  9. Electrical systems design: According to the NSC, there were 2,745 citations for this type of electrical hazard.
  10. Machine guarding: OSHA requires employees to be protected from moving machine parts that could cause severe injuries or death. According to the NSC, there were 2,701 citations.

These citations cover all employers. The most common citations for a specific type of work may be different. By understanding where OSHA commonly cites employers, employers can prepare for OSHA inspections and reduce the chances that a citation will be issued.

  • Our law firm represents employers in Texas at all stages of OSHA matters, including compliance and OSHA citations defense. For more information, see our page on OSHA citations defense.
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