OSHA Top 10 Safety Violations in 2021

When it comes to safety, IBEW Local 332 is proud of our record. Our trained workforce prioritizes safety in everything we do, and our worksites have very few OSHA violations. We researched OSHA’s Top 10 violations to see how we compare with the rest of the construction industry – as well as general industry, manufacturing, and other fields. OSHA 29 CFR 1926 standards focus on the construction industry, and OSHA 29 CFR 1910 regulations detail general industry safety and apply to most worksites.

For a more in-depth analysis of the Top 10 OSHA violations, go to:

www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910 (general industry)
www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926 (construction)

#1: Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 5,295 violations

Fall violations are common. Dangerous falls have many causes, including human error:

  • wet or muddy surfaces
  • uneven surfaces
  • inadequate lighting
  • improper ladder use
  • ladders with structural defects
  • cluttered work areas
  • inadequate guardrails
  • uncovered holes/shafts
  • dangerous weather conditions such as ice, snow and wind

#2 Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,527 violations

The most common violation is employers not providing a medical evaluation prior to respirator use or fit testing, followed by lack of training and failing to identify hazardous conditions that require a respirator.

#3 Ladders (1926.1053): 2,026 violations

The most common ladder violations include: lack of worker training, improper use of the top of step ladders, and not having the ladder extend three feet above the landing.

#4 Scaffolding (1926.451): 1,948 violations

Scaffold violations include lack of fall protection while working 10 feet or more above a lower level.  This includes a personal fall arrest system and/or guardrails. Anyone working on a scaffold must be trained by a qualified person to identify hazards and use the scaffold properly.  Scaffolding must be erected and inspected by a qualified person.

#5 Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 1,947 violations

The most common violation is lack of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for hazardous materials. There should be a written program and training for hazardous chemical use.

#6 Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 1,698 violations

This is a critical part of electrical safety and anywhere that stored energy may be present. Common violations include:

  • Failing to have equipment specific lockout/tagout procedures
  • Lack of training
  • Failing to conduct periodic inspections
  • Failing to establish a lockout/tagout program
  • Failing to follow the sequence of a procedure
  • Failing to protect workers during group lockout/tagout operations
  • Failing to identify all sources of energy or failing to lockout/tagout all sources
  • Failing to notify other employers in multi-employer situations

#7 Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,666 violations

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 procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards, including personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, warning lines, controlled access and other protection.

#8 Personal Protective  Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,452 violations 

Our typical personal protective equipment (PPE) includes eye protection with ansi z87.1 rating, hard hat, gloves, and high visibility safety vest with 2” reflective material. Depending on the task, there is a much longer list of PPE. Avoiding a violation is simple; wear your PPE while on the job site.

#9 Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,420 violations

Operation of forklifts, “gradalls,” or other motorized material handling equipment is not always limited to material handlers. Anyone operating the equipment must be properly trained. Common failures include:

  • Lift trucks driving off loading docks
  • People struck by equipment or load
  • People fall from elevated pallets
  • Using incorrect attachments or making unapproved modifications
  • Exceeding equipment load rating
  • Failure to choose the correct equipment for the task

#10 Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,113 violations

Machine guards must remain in place and not be altered. This rule generally applies to large machinery but for our purposes, we will consider the guards on our tools.

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