OSHA Announced Preliminary Top 10 for 2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced its preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2020. In an exclusive webinar with Safety+Health magazine on Feb. 26, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the preliminary data.

For the 10th consecutive fiscal year, the data shows that Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. Multiple standards swapped positions, the Top 10 violations from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2020 did not change. Most notably, and probably due to the COVID pandemic, Respiratory Protection (1910.134) jumped from fifth to third, with an increase of nearly 10%.

Coronavirus did not solely impact respiratory related citations, from 2019 to 2020, there was roughly a 10 percent drop in citations among the Top 10; a reduction of nearly 2,800 citations.

“In a year that was defined by the ongoing pandemic, workplace safety became more important than ever,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “The OSHA Top 10 list reminds us why we must continue to focus on persistent safety risks as we navigate new challenges. These data help us pinpoint areas where we can improve so we can better prioritize workplace safety in the future world of work.”

Once again, hazard communication landed within the top three positions on the lists hazard. With OSHA’s recent proposal to align its HAZCOM standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), Fairfax said OSHA recognizes the need to start another outreach campaign and offer more education in this area.

The Top 10 for FY 2020 are:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 5,424 (-)
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,199 (-)
  3. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,649 (+2)
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,538 (-1)
  5. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,129 (+1)
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,065 (-2)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,932 (-)
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,621 (-)
  9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,369 (+1)
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,313 (-1)

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