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What were the Most Cited OSHA Violations in 2013?

You care about your employees.   You care about your company’s bottom line.  So why do so many companies lose money and labor hours due to violations of rules and regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)?  What has caused the most workplace injuries? How can you prevent these injuries? How can you avoid violations during inspections?

In this, we would like to share with you the Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2013 as a result of a Safety and Health Magazine article.

Fall Protection

Definition: Employers shall provide and install all fall protection systems required by this subpart for an employee, and shall comply with all other pertinent requirements of this subpart before that employee begins the work that necessitates the fall protection. (1926.502(a)(2)).

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 8,739

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 7,250

Change: 1,489 (+20.52%)

Top five sections cited

  1. Residential construction (b)(13) – 4,733
  2. Unprotected sides and edges (b)(1) – 1,696
  3. Roofing work on low-slope roofs (b)(10) – 912
  4. Steep roofs (b)(11) – 656
  5. Holes (b)(4) – 328

Hazard Communication

Definition: This occupational safety and health standard is intended to address comprehensively the issue of classifying the potential hazards of chemicals, and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees, and to preempt any legislative or regulatory enactments of a state, or political subdivision of a state, pertaining to this subject. (1910.1200 (a) (2))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 6,556

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 4,696

Change: 1,860 (+39.61%)

Top Five Hazard Communication Sections Cited

  1. Maintaining a written hazard communication program (e)(1) – 2,469
  2. Providing employees with information and training (h)(1) – 1,561
  3. Chemical container labeling (f)(5) – 701
  4. Maintaining Safety Data Sheets (g)(8) – 611
  5. Obtaining or developing safety data sheets (g)(1) – 496


Definition: Each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it. (1926.451 (a)(3))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 5,724

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 3,814

Change: 1,910 (+50.08%)

Top Five Scaffolding Violations Cited

  1. Protection from falls to a lower level (g)(1) – 1,589
  2. Planking or decking requirements (b)(1) – 788
  3. Point of access for scaffold platforms (e)(1) – 781
  4. Foundation requirements (c)(2) – 632
  5. Guardrail requirements (g)(4) – 376

Respiratory Protection

Definition: In the control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This shall be accomplished as far as feasible by accepted engineering control measures (for example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials). (1910.134(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 4,153

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,371

Change: 1,782 (+75.16%)

Top Five Respiratory Protection Violations Cited

  1. Medical evaluation general requirements (e)(1) – 705
  2. Establishing and implementing written respirator protection program (c)(1) – 650
  3. Covering situations when respirator use is not required (c)(2) – 510
  4. Respirator selection general requirements (d)(1) – 342
  5. Ensuring employer used respirators are fit tested (f)(2) – 332

Electrical (Wiring Methods)

Definition: Metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and other metal noncurrent-carrying parts that are to serve as grounding conductors, with or without the use of supplementary equipment grounding conductors, shall be effectively bonded where necessary to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on them. Any nonconductive paint, enamel, or similar coating shall be removed at threads, contact points, and contact surfaces or be connected by means of fittings designed so as to make such removal unnecessary. (1910.305(a)(1)(i))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,709

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,744

Change: 1,965 (+112.67%)

Top Five Electrical Violations Cited

  1. Use of flexible cords and cables (g)(1) – 1,004
  2. Conductors entering boxes, cabinets or fittings (b)(1) – 821
  3. Identification, splices and terminations (g)(2) – 703
  4. Covers and canopies (b)(2) – 577
  5. Temporary wiring (a)(2) – 194

Powered Industrial Trucks

Definition: This section contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines. This section does not apply to compressed air or nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, nor to farm vehicles, nor to vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling. (1910.178(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,544

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,993

Change: 1,551 (+77.82%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Safe operation (l)(1) – 905
  2. Refresher training and evaluation (l)(4) – 575
  3. Certification of trained and evaluated operators (l)(6) – 377
  4. Taking truck out of service when repairs are necessary (p)(1) – 336
  5. Maintenance of industrial trucks (q)(7) – 304


Definition: Ladders shall be capable of supporting the following loads without failure:

  • Each self-supporting portable ladder: At least four times the maximum intended load. (1926.1053(a)(1)(i))
  • Each portable ladder that is not self-supporting: At least four times the maximum intended load, except that each extra-heavy-duty type 1A metal or plastic ladders shall sustain at least 3.3 times the maximum intended load. (1926.1053(a)(1)(ii))
  • Each Fixed ladder: At least two loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, concentrated between any two consecutive attachments (the number and position of additional concentrated loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, determined from anticipated usage of the ladder, shall also be included), plus anticipated loads caused by ice buildup, winds, rigging, and impact loads resulting from the use of ladder safety devices. Each step or rung shall be capable of supporting a single concentrated load of a least 250 pounds (114 kg) applied in the middle of the step or rung. (1926.1053(a)(1)(iii))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,524

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,310

Change: 1214 (+52.55%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Requirements for portable ladders used for accessing upper landing surfaces (b)(1) – 1,866
  2. Ladder use only for its design purpose (b)(4) – 482
  3. Not using the top or top step of stepladder as a step (b)(13) – 268
  4. Marking portable ladders with structural defects with tags noting them as defective (b)(16) – 215
  5. Employees shall not carry objects or loads that could cause them to lose balance and fall (b)(22) – 107


Definition: This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start-up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy. (1910.147(a)(1)(i))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,505

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,572

Change: 1,933 (+122.96%)

Related: 5 Tips to Prevent Workplace Injury

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Energy control procedure (c)(4) – 996
  2. Periodic inspection (c)(6) – 653
  3. Energy control program (c)(1) – 651
  4. Training and communication (c)(7) – 580
  5. Lockout or tagout device application (d)(4) – 169

Electrical: General Requirements

Definition: Electric equipment shall be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. (1910.303(b)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 2,932

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,332

Change: 1,600 (+120.12%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Installation and use of equipment (b)(2) – 814
  2. Space around electric equipment (g)(1) – 670
  3. Guarding of live parts (g)(2) – 347
  4. Services, feeders and branch circuits (f)(2) – 327
  5. Examination of equipment (b)(1) – 280

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Improve Workplace Health

Machine Guarding

Definition: One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are-barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc. (1910.212(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 2,852

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,097

Change: 755 (+36%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Types of guarding (a)(1) – 1,815
  2. Point of operation guarding (a)(3) – 662
  3. Anchoring fixed machinery (b) – 214
  4. Exposure of blades (a)(5) – 79
  5. General requirements (a)(2) – 73

OSHA is Cracking Down on Violations

With some categories doubling in violations reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is cracking down on violators.  In order to protect your employees and bottom line, you must effectively keep all of your equipment up to code and in peak condition.

Nova Medical Centers values employee and occupational health.  We welcome you to reach out to us while recovering or planning your occupational health decisions.

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