Staffing Management

OSHA Releases Most-Cited Workplace Safety Violations

By Max Mihelich

Nov. 11, 2013

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration released its annual list of most-cited workplace violations on Oct. 1.

Number Violation Times Cited
1 Fall protection 8,241
2 Hazard communication 6,156
3 Scaffolding 5,423
4 Respiratory protection 3,879
5 Electrical, wiring methods 3,452
6 Powered industrial trucks 3,340
7 Ladders 3,311
8 Lockout/tagout 3,254
9 Electrical, general requirements 2,745
10 Machine guarding 2,701

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration

For a second straight year, fall protection was the most-cited violation. Hazard communication, scaffolding and respiratory protection violations remained the second-, third- and fourth-most-cited violations, respectively, as well.

In an effort to lower workplace deaths, OSHA levies heavy fines against violators. OSHA assigns the highest penalties for fall-protection violations. For example, Canton, Ohio-based Republic Steel was fined $1.1 million this year for 24 serious safety violations, 15 of which were fall-protection violations, according to OSHA. Republic Steel did not respond to a request for comment.

“A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,” according to OSHA.

From Oct. 1, 2012, through Oct. 1, 2013, there were 882 workplace fatalities in the United States.

Max Mihelich is a Workforce associate editor. Comment below or email Follow Mihelich on Twitter at @workforcemax.

Max Mihelich is a writer in the Chicago area.

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