2020's Top 10 OSHA Citations

OSHA has published the top 10 citations for 2020. Let's take a quick look at these top 10 citations and the situations where citations where issued.



  1. Fall Protection (1926.510) - 5,424 Violations

  2. Failure to provide fall protection (e.g., guardrail, safety net, personal fall arrest system) when working on residential construction activities 6 feet or more above lower levels.

  3. Failure to install fall protection on unprotected sides/edges where workers walk/work that are 6 feet or more above lower levels.

  4. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) - 3,199 Violations

  5. Failure to develop a written Hazard Communication Program.

  6. Failure to provide training on Hazard Communication Program.

  7. Failure to ensure chemicals are properly labeled.

  8. Failure to maintain Safety Data Sheets for chemicals on site.

  9. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) - 2,649 Violations

  10. Failure to medically clear respirator users prior to using a respirator.

  11. Failure to develop a written Respiratory Protection Program.

  12. Failure to complete a fit test prior to using a respirator.

  13. Scaffolding (1926.451) - 2,538 Violations

  14. Failure to provide fall protection on a scaffold that is 10 feet or more above a lower level.

  15. Failure to provide ladders (e.g., portable ladders, hook-on ladders, stair towers), ramps/walkways, or personnel hoist when a point of access is 2 feet or more above/below the scaffold.

  16. Failure to fully install planks/decks between the front uprights and the guardrail supports.

  17. Failure to install adequate firm foundation on scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights.

  18. Failure to install adequate guardrails.

  19. Ladders (1926.1053) - 2,129 Violations

  20. Failure to extend ladder side rails 3 feet or more above the upper landing surface.

  21. Failure to secure ladder with rigid support on upper landing surface if extending ladder 3 feet or more above the upper landing surface is not possible.

  22. Using a ladder for purposes it was not designed for.

  23. Using the top step of a ladder as a step.

  24. Failure to withdraw damaged/defective ladders from service.

  25. Carrying tools/equipment that could cause a worker to lose balance while climbing a ladder.

  26. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) - 2,065 Violations

  27. Failure to develop an energy control procedure.

  28. Failure to train workers on Lockout/Tagout.

  29. Failure to complete periodic inspections of energy control procedures.

  30. Failure to develop a written Lockout/Tagout Program.

  31. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) - 1,932 Violations

  32. Failure to safely operate a powered industrial truck.

  33. Failure to complete initial and/or refresher training and evaluation on use of powered industrial trucks.

  34. Failure to withdraw damaged/defective powered industrial trucks from service until it has been repaired/replaced.

  35. Failure to complete inspections of powered industrial trucks prior to use.

  36. Fall Protection Training (1926.503) - 1,621 Violations

  37. Failure to provide initial and/or refresher training to workers who might be exposed to a fall hazard.

  38. Failure to maintain records of fall protection training.

  39. Failure to evaluate effectiveness of fall protection training.

  40. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, Eye and Face Protection (1926.102) - 1,369 Violations

  41. Failure to ensure workers use appropriate eye or face protection when needed.

  42. Failure to use appropriate eye protection (e.g., sunglasses vs. safety glasses; prescription safety glasses vs. prescription glasses).

  43. Machine Guarding (1910.212) - 1,313 Violations

  44. Failure to properly guard machinery from hazards (e.g., nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks).

  45. Failure to securely anchor fixed machinery.

  46. Failure to guard blades of a fan that are 7 feet or below the floor/working level.

While some of these top 10 citations have serious implications - severe injury, property damage, or death, others involve gaps/deficiencies in procedures or training, which have been highlighted in teal. These citations can be oftentimes be fixed through simple solutions, like transcribing current procedures into a formal document or maintaining records of training. If there's anything on this list that you need help with, feel free to contact us! We have the expertise and resources available to find the best solution that fits your needs.

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