Top 5 OSHA Violations


A visit from OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers can set supervisors on edge. No one wants to receive citations and fines for failure to comply with OSHA regulations, but the truth is OSHA safety policies and random inspections reduce injury. One study published by the journal “Science” found a 9.4% decline in injury rate and a 26% reduction in injury cost for randomly inspected establishments compared to a control group that was not randomly selected.

Workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits can be far costlier than developing and enforcing safety procedures. The OSHA safety topics listed below are most commonly cited and are a good place to start when tightening up your safety protocol.

Here are the top five OSHA Violations for 2017:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout

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Fall Protection – General Requirements

More than 6,800 fall protection safety violations were cited by OSHA in the fiscal year 2017. Commonly associated with roofing and framing, fall protection equipment is required for any industry where workers are six feet or more above the ground or lower level, including forestry, material handling, and construction. Guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems can prevent almost all fall injuries when used correctly.


Hazard Communication

Employers are required to develop and implement a written hazard communication program to alert employees to the dangerous chemicals on site. More than 4,500 employers were cited in relation to this violation in 2017.



Violations related to unsafe scaffolding procedure topped 3,500 in 2017. Depending on the type of scaffolding in use, different types of fall protection are required. Read the OSHA guidelines to learn more.


Respiratory Protection

For jobs where respirators are necessary, employers are required to provide medical evaluations and fit testing to ensure workers are medically cleared for use and the respirator the employee will be using fits properly. Over 3,000 employers were cited for incidences regarding respiratory protection in 2017.



Electrical hazards when working on high-voltage equipment can be greatly reduced by implementing, enforcing, and periodically inspecting proper lockout/tagout procedures . More than 3,000 employers were cited in 2017 for failure to comply with these policies.


Put safeguards in place to prevent these common causes of injury to protect your business, not only from OSHA fines, but also the liability of failing to protect your employees.

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