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Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

By September 9, 2017February 5th, 2019Business Insurance

The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about the most commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.

  1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection (C)
  2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
  3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding (C)
  4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
  5. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
  6. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
  7. 1926.1053 – Ladders (C)
  8. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
  9. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding
  10. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements

(C) = Construction standard

At B+H Insurance, our Risk Control Services are designed to assist you with these and all of your Insurance and Risk Management needs. Our customized plans and services are developed in conjunction with your team to address risk exposures and develop real life solutions. Utilizing our in-house Risk Control Services, we look to further reduce your risk while protecting your business, your people, and your property. Our risk control specialists work with you to identify risk exposures, partner to develop solutions and help you to implement practical, real life controls as part of a comprehensive continuous improvement plan.

Resource Material:

OSHA Regulations-

OSHA Construction Regulations-

Overall OSHA Training and Reference Materials-

Overall OSHA Publications-

Top 10 OSHA Violations:

1. Fall Protection in Construction (1926.501) – 6,721

2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192

  • Hazard Communication –
  • Update your existing program to meet the requirements of the Global Harmonization Standard (GHS)
  • Maintain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical in the facility and include the updated ones with Pictograms or have documentation you have requested them from the manufacturer
  • Make this information accessible to employees at all times in a language or formats that are clearly understood by all affected personnel
  • Train employees on how to read and use the SDS, including the meaning of the Pictograms
  • Follow manufacturer’s SDS instructions for handling hazardous chemicals
  • Train employees about the risks of each hazardous chemical being used
  • Provide spill clean-up kits in areas where chemicals are stored
  • Have a written spill control plan
  • Train employees to clean up spills, protect themselves and properly dispose of used materials
  • Provide proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use
  • Store chemicals safely and securely

3. Scaffolding in Construction (1926.451) – 4,295

  • Scaffolding eTool –
  • Scaffolding Safety and Health Topic –
  • Scaffold must be sound, rigid and sufficient to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. It must be erected on solid footing
  • Unstable objects, such as barrels, boxes, loose bricks or concrete blocks must not be used to support scaffolds or planks
  • Scaffold must not be erected, moved, dismantled or altered except under the supervision of a competent person
  • Scaffold must be equipped with guardrails, midrails and toeboards
  • Scaffold accessories such as braces, brackets, trusses, screw legs or ladders that are damaged or weakened from any cause must be immediately repaired or replaced
  • Scaffold platforms must be tightly planked with scaffold plank grade material or equivalent
  • A “competent person” must inspect the scaffolding and, at designated intervals, reinspect it
  • Rigging on suspension scaffolds must be inspected by a competent person before each shift and after any occurrence that could affect structural integrity to ensure that all connections are tight and that no damage to the rigging has occurred since its last use
  • Synthetic and natural rope used in suspension scaffolding must be protected from heat-producing sources
  • Employees must be instructed about the hazards of using diagonal braces as fall protection
  • Scaffold can be accessed by using ladders and stairwells
  • Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from electric power lines at all times

4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305

  • Respiratory Protection Safety and Health Topic –
  • Respiratory Protection eTool –
  • An effective respirator program must cover the following factors:
    • Written worksite specific procedures
    • Program evaluation
    • Selection of an appropriate respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
    • Training
    • Fit testing
    • Inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and storage
    • Medical evaluations
    • Work area surveillance
    • Air quality standards

5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,002

6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760

  • Powered Industrial Trucks Safety and Health Topic –
  • Powered Industrial Trucks eTool –
  • Train and certify all operators to ensure that they operate forklifts safely
  • Do not allow any employee under 18 years old to operate a forklift
  • Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires
  • Do not modify or make attachments that affect the capacity and safe operation of the forklift without written approval from the forklift’s manufacturer
  • Examine forklift truck for defects before using
  • Follow safe operating procedures for picking up, moving, putting down and stacking loads
  • Drive safely–never exceed 5 mph and slow down in congested or slippery surface areas
  • Prohibit stunt driving and horseplay
  • Do not handle loads that are heavier than the capacity of the industrial truck
  • Remove unsafe or defective forklift trucks from service
  • Operators shall always wear seatbelts
  • Avoid traveling with elevated loads
  • Assure that rollover protective structure is in place
  • Make certain that the reverse signal alarm is operational and audible above the surrounding noise level

7. Ladders in Construction (1926.1053) – 2,489

  • Ladder Safety eTool –
  • Portable Ladder Safety Quick Card-
  • Use the correct ladder for the task
  • Have a competent person visually inspect a ladder before use for any defects such as: Structural damage, split/bent side rails, broken or missing rungs/steps/cleats and missing or damaged safety devices
  • Grease, dirt or other contaminants that could cause slips or falls
  • Paint or stickers (except warning labels) that could hide possible defects
  • Make sure that ladders are long enough to safely reach the work area
  • Mark or tag (“Do Not Use”) damaged or defective ladders for repair or replacement, or destroy them immediately
  • Never load ladders beyond the maximum intended load or beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity
  • Be sure the load rating can support the weight of the user, including materials and tools
  • Avoid using ladders with metallic components near electrical work and overhead power lines

8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404

  • Electrical Safety and Health Topic –
  • Electrical Contractors Industry Safety and Health Topic –
  • Work on new and existing energized (hot) electrical circuits is prohibited until all power is shut off and grounds are attached
  • An effective Lockout/Tagout system is in place
  • Frayed, damaged or worn electrical cords or cables are promptly replaced
  • All extension cords have grounding prongs
  • Protect flexible cords and cables from damage. Sharp corners and projections should be avoided
  • Use extension cord sets used with portable electric tools and appliances that are the three-wire type and designed for hard or extra-hard service. (Look for some of the following letters imprinted on the casing: S, ST, SO, STO.)
  • All electrical tools and equipment are maintained in safe condition and checked regularly for defects and taken out of service if a defect is found
  • Do not bypass any protective system or device designed to protect employees from contact with electrical energy
  • Overhead electrical power lines are located and identified
  • Ensure that ladders, scaffolds, equipment or materials never come within 10 feet of electrical power lines
  • All electrical tools must be properly grounded unless they are of the double insulated type
  • Multiple plug adapters are prohibited

9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295

  • Machine Guarding Safety and Health Topics –
  • Machine Guarding eTool –
  • Management:
    • Ensure all machinery is properly guarded
  •  Supervisors:
    • Train employees on specific guard rules in their areas
    • Ensure machine guards remain in place and are functional
    • Immediately correct machine guard deficiencies
  • Employees:
    • Do not remove guards unless machine is locked and tagged
    • Report machine guard problems to supervisors immediately
    • Do not operate equipment unless guards are in place

10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973

  • Electrical Safety and Health Topic –
  • Electrical Contractors Industry Safety and Health Topic –
  • Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated
  • Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines
  • Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires
  • If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services
  • Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water
  • Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized
  • Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it
  • If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Always use caution when working near electricity


All Construction eTools –

OSHA Quickcard topics –

Safety and Health Program- Recommended Practices –

B+H Insurance, LLC –

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