As Citations Drop, Fall Protection Still Dominates OSHA's Top 10

Citations during OSHA's fiscal 2021 were down 13% from 2020 and down more than one-third from 2019.

During the recent National Safety Council Safety Congress & Expo this past October 11-14, OSHA revealed its preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace violations for the agency’s fiscal 2021.

The figures OSHA showed made it evident that while the number of total citations had another considerable drop from a year earlier, the same culprit is still far and away the biggest source of violations.

Fall Protection - General Requirements, led the way in 2021 for the 11th straight year, with its 5,295 violations more than double that of No. 2,   at 2,427 violations. Respiratory protection moved up one spot from 2020 despite 4.6 percent fewer citations. 

In fact, citations were down across the board. OSHA reported a preliminary figure of 21,090 for 2021, which is down 13.0 percent from 2020 and down a whopping 33.5 percent from 2019.

Ladders was the third most cited violation of 2021 with 2,206, followed by Scaffolding (2,026) and Hazard Communication (1,947) to round out the top five. Hazard Communication was No. 2 in 2020, but its citations fell by 39 percent.

Lockout/Tagout repeated at No. 6 with 1,698 citations; Fall Protection - Training Requirements moved up one spot to No. 7 (1,666); Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection also moved up a spot to No. 8 (1,452); Powered Industrial Trucks fell two spots to No. 9 (1,420) and Machine Guarding repeated at No. 10 with 1,113 citations.

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