Workplace Safety: OSHA’s Top 10 Cited Standards of 2022

The top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites have been compiled by federal OSHA for all industries.

by | Aug 16, 2023

Safety in the workplace is an essential aspect of any organization’s success. Creating an environment where employees feel protected, and hazards are minimized not only fosters well-being but also ensures operational efficiency.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a crucial role in setting and enforcing standards that safeguard workers from various risks. The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA for all industries.

OSHA publishes a list to alert employers to these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix known hazards before OSHA shows up. Workers suffer preventable injuries, illnesses, and deaths related to the hazards addressed in these standards.

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) [related safety resources]

Falling injuries are a common concern within the construction industry, making proper fall protection measures necessary. Working at heights increases the danger of falls and catastrophic injuries in the construction environment.

To reduce falls, safety systems, and equipment must be thoroughly tested and evaluated. Testing guarantees equipment effectiveness in emergency situations and lowers the risk of accidents in the construction industry.

2.     Hazard communication, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) [related safety resources]

Clear communication of potential hazards is crucial for safeguarding workers against risks associated with chemicals and hazardous substances across industries.

Workers and companies should comply with hazard communication protocols and conduct rigorous testing of materials and substances. Thorough testing guarantees accurate labeling and proper handling and ensures safety measures are effective.

3.     Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) [related safety resources]

Ladders are a basic tool in construction but pose serious risks if not used properly. Ladder-related accidents usually result from improper use or defects. Regular testing ensures ladders are sturdy and reliable, contributing to a safer working environment. Ladder safety guidelines, including selection, inspection, positioning, and maintaining three points of contact while ascending or descending, are key rules to follow while on the job.

4.     Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) [related safety resources]

Respiratory protection is critical to ensuring the health and safety of workers in many industries. Preventing exposure to airborne contaminants like dust and chemicals helps avoid health risks.

Following OSHA guidelines, including fit testing, proper respirator selection, and employee training, is essential to ensuring compliance and a safer work environment overall.

5.     Scaffolding, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) [related safety resources]

Improper setup or maintenance of scaffolding, which provide elevated work platforms for workers, can lead to accidents. Adhering to OSHA standards is essential for worker safety. Regular inspections, load testing, and proper assembly are needed to maintain safe scaffolding structures.

6.     Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) [related safety resources]

LOTO (lockout/tagout) procedures safeguard employees from unexpected machinery startup during maintenance. A robust LOTO program, along with regular equipment testing, employee training, and maintaining a comprehensive energy control program contribute to mitigating dangers.

7.     Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) [related safety resources]

Operating trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks, requires training and strictly following safety protocols. Regular testing of trucks can include functional and performance assessments, operator training, load limits, and proper maintenance. All regulations ensure machines are operating reliably and safely.

8.     Fall protection training, construction (29 CFR 1926.503) [related safety resources]

Effective training empowers workers to recognize fall hazards and use proper protective equipment. Falling during work can be dangerously life-altering. Workers must fully understand all elements of fall protection to make informed decisions about their work surroundings.

9.     Eye and face protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.102) [related safety resources]

Eye injuries are preventable with the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). There are many types of eye and face protection available along with information on how to assess risks and select suitable protective gear.

10.     Machinery and machine guarding, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212) [related safety resources]

Moving machinery parts pose numerous safety risks to workers across industries and careers. Machine guarding principles, understanding how effective guarding, training, and regular inspections are just a few of the many prevention measures workers and managers can utilize to prevent workplace accidents.

Learn More About OSHA Workplace Safety Standards

Prioritizing workplace safety is not only a legal obligation but a moral responsibility. By understanding and addressing the top 10 most cited OSHA standards, companies can implement safety standards and regulations that protect all employees’ health and well-being.

To search for an OSHA standard, see this webpage: OSHA Law and Regulations

Read the top violations of an industry with a specific NAICS code, see this webpage: Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

To view the industry profile for violations of any specific OSHA standard, see this webpage: Industry Profile for an OSHA Standard

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