Safety Leader

OSHA Releases Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2020

Published On
Apr 23, 2021

In February 2021, OSHA announced its preliminary top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for 2020. Reviewing these citations can help electrical contractors identify and prioritize areas for improving safety in the workplace.

“In a year that was defined by the ongoing pandemic, workplace safety became even more important than ever,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, Itasca, Ill. “The OSHA Top 10 list reminds us why we must continue to focus on persistent safety risks as we navigate new challenges.”

All 10 violations were the same as on the 2019 list, but in different positions. Seven (marked with an asterisk) are related to standards that can either directly or indirectly affect electrical contractors on the job.

  1. *Fall protection (5,424 cited violations). This was also ranked #1 in 2019, and in fact has been the most frequently cited standard every year for the past 10 years. 

  2. Hazard communication (3,199 cited violations), also ranked #2 in 2019.

  3. *Respiratory protection (2,649 cited violations). This rose from #5 in 2019 to #3, likely because of COVID-19 concerns.

  4. Scaffolding (2,538 cited violations), ranked #3 in 2019.

  5. *Ladders (2,129 cited violations). This was ranked #6 in 2019.

  6. *Lockout/tagout (2,065 cited violations). This was ranked #4 in 2019, meaning that those involved in lockout/tagout have been working more safely in 2020.

  7. Powered industrial trucks (1,932 cited violations), also #7 in 2019.

  8. *Fall protection—training requirements (1,621 cited violations).

  9. This was also ranked #8 in 2019.

  10. *Personal protective and life-saving equipment—eye and face protection (1,369 cited violations). This rose from #10 in 2019, likely because of COVID-19 concerns.

  11. *Machine guarding (1,313 cited violations), ranked #9 in 2019.

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