OSHA reports slight increase in safety violations for 2016

Fall protection once again leads the way as violations increase by almost 2% for 2016. Three categories in the top 10 reported considerable improvements compared to their 2015 numbers.


The preliminary OSHA top 10 violations for 2016 showed little overall movement as fall protection was once again the number one violation. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 at the 2015 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo, the world's largest gathering of safety professionals.

"Every year the OSHA Top 10 serves as a guide for employers to address the biggest safety risks facing their employees," said National Safety Council president and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "We look forward to working with employers to reduce these incidents and ensure every workplace is on a journey to safety excellence."

There was little movement in the top 10 in 2016. The only movement in the rankings came machine guarding to eighth and electrical wiring dropping one spot to ninth place. 

There were 35,085 violations overall in 2016, which is almost a 2% increase from 2015. Seven of the top 10 categories had an increase in reported incidents. The biggest jumps in reported violations came from lockout/tagout, which had an increase of more than 10%, and hazard communication, which also had close to a 10% increase in violations.  

Scaffolding, electrical – wiring methods, and electrical – general requirements, were the only categories that had a decrease in the number of reported violations. All three categories should considerable improvement with each category dropping by at least 10%. Electrical – wiring methods had the largest decrease with a 20% drop in violations. 

The Top 10 for FY 2016, their OSHA hazard standard citation, and the 2015 total and ranking for each category are:

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,909 (6,721, 1st)
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,677 (5,192, 2nd)
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,906 (4,295, 3rd)
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,585 (3,305, 4th)
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,414 (3,002, 5th)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,860 (2,760, 6th)
  7. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,639 (2,489, 7th)
  8. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,451 (2,295, 9th)
  9. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,940 (2,404, 8th)
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,704 (1,973, 10th)

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

See additional stories about plant safety and OSHA standards linked below.

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