Most Frequent OSHA Violations of 2019

10 December, 2019
Most Frequent OSHA Violations of 2019

It’s safe to say that companies generally want to provide a safe working environment for their employees; however, businesses are frequently cited for violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency, in conjunction with the National Safety Council (NSC), recently released its most frequent violations for 2019.

Once again, fall protection topped the annual list with 6,010 violations. It was the ninth year in a row this category received the No. 1 spot. Last year, eye and face protection violations cracked the top ten spots and this year it remained at No. 10.

In a statement, NSC president and CEO Lorraine Martin said the OSHA list is a helpful guide that show how adept businesses are in complying with workplace safety regulations. However, she added that the list should challenge companies to do better.

“It should also serve as a catalyst for individual employees to recommit to safety,” Martin said.

The list included violations from October 1, 2018, through August 31, 2019, and it is considered preliminary. However, the list isn't expected to change much when the final numbers come out.

Most of the list for fiscal year 2019 was mostly the same as it was in 2018, with just one minor change: Lockout/Tagout climbed one place from fifth to fourth, trading places with Respiratory Protection.

Below is a brief rundown of the top violations.

Fall Protection

According to OSHA, standard violations under this category included failure to supply fall protection for those working near unprotected sides or edges. A lot of the citations were issued to construction industry companies.

Hazard Communication

Hazard Communication has been in the second spot on the OSHA list for the past few years. Standard issues in this category include not having a written hazard communication program, insufficient training, and neglecting to correctly develop or maintain material safety data sheets (MSDSs). Auto repair and commercial painting were two of the top industries receiving hazard communication citations.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)

Many organizations cited for Lockout/Tagout did not even establish LOTO procedure, while others were cited for neglecting to supply decent worker training, neglecting to conduct routine assessments of procedures, and neglecting to use LOTO devices. Violations were high among machine shops, plastics makers and sawmills.


Typical inadequacies included inadequate siderail protection, inappropriate use of ladders, using a ladder's top step and use of defective ladders. These violations were frequent among construction contractors.

Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment

A newbie on OSHA’s list in 2018, eye and face protection made a return to the 10th spot in 2019. Commonly reported issues included neglecting to supply eye and face protection where staff members were subjected to hazards from flying items; neglecting to offer eye protection with side protection; and neglecting to supply protection from hazardous materials.

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