Top 10 OSHA violations drop 28%

Annual report from OSHA shows lockout/tagout on the rise and fall protection again the top issue.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media September 16, 2014

Lockout/tagout violations were up, overall violations were down and, for the umpteenth year in a row, fall protection was the number one OSHA violation, according to the preliminary OSHA Top 10 list for 2014. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, announced this year’s list at the National Safety Council’s annual National Safety Congress in San Diego on Sept. 16.

Fall protection always is the number one violation in the OSHA Top 10 list. What is notable this year is that after a sharp increase in violations in 2013, citations were down 34%, from 8,241 in 2013 to 6,143 in 2014.

In fact, all of the 2014 figures were off significantly from the 2013 data, while still higher than 2012 levels. The 2012 Top 10 list produced 27186 violations, while 2013 jumped 56% to 42,502. In 2014, there were 33,116 violations in the top 10, a 28.3% drop from 2013.

The biggest difference between 2013 and 2014 was in the area of lockout/tagout violations. While total violations fell from 3,254 in 2013 to 2,704 in 2014, the category jumped from 8th place to 5th place in the Top 10 ranking.

The Top 10 for FY 2014, their OSHA hazard standard citation, and the 2013 total and ranking for each category are:

  1. Fall protection (1926.501) — 6,143 (8,241, 1st)
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) — 5,161 (6156, 2nd)
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) — 4,029 (5,423, 3rd)
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) — 3,223 (3,879, 4th)
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) — 2,704 (3,254, 8th)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) — 2,662 (3,430, 6th)
  7. Electrical — Wiring Methods (1910.305) — 2,490 (3,452, 5th)
  8. Ladders (1926.1053) — 2,448 (3,311, 7th)
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) — 2,200 (2,701, 10th)
  10. Electrical — General Requirements (1910.303) — 2,056 (2,745, 9th)

"This data is a poignant reminder that there is still much room for improvement in making our workplaces safer, and that it is going to take all of us to make a difference," said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Also at the National Safety Congress, OSHA and the National Safety Council renewed their alliance designed to help protect workers under the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the National Safety Council to educate and train employers on preventing workplace hazards," said OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels. "Through our continued work with the NSC, we are working with employers to create a culture of safety to better prevent workplace injuries and illnesses."

"During the five-year agreement, the alliance will use data on injuries and illnesses, workers’ compensation experience and exposure hazards in general industry and construction to help identify new areas of emphasis," OSHA officials said in a press release. "The alliance will support the NSC’s "Journey to Safety Excellence" campaign, which aims to educate employers on how investing in worker safety and health protections can significantly improve their productivity and profitability. Through this commitment to workplace safety, both businesses and workers succeed."