The OSHA Top 10 violations list is an effort put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to assess worksites across the U.S., and to encourage safer practices. The annual study involves reviewing the results of worksite inspections carried out by federal OSHA, tallying their respective violations and determining the issues that seem to present the highest safety concerns in a given year. Although where exactly those OSHA top 10 violations fall on the list will vary, the list tends to be comprised of the same “usual suspects” from one year to the next. And the organization released its preliminary results (for fiscal year 2020) during a February 26 webinar.

So, what issues topped OSHA’s list this time around? Safety and Health Magazine reports the following violations ranked highest:

  1. Fall Protection — General Requirements (5,424 violations)
  2. Hazard Communication (3,199 violations)
  3. Respiratory Protection (2,649 violations)
  4. Scaffolding (2,538 violations)
  5. Ladders (2,129 violations)
  6. Lockout/Tagout (2,065 violations)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1,932 violations)
  8. Fall Protection — Training Requirements (1,621 violations)
  9. Personal Protective & Life Saving Equipment — Eye and Face Protection (1,369 violations)
  10. Machine Guarding (1,313 violations)

Of course, simply seeing such stats isn’t enough. How can you, the business owner, use the data to your advantage? By using it as a starting point when it comes to risk assessments — and in creating a safer working environment for your team members. If you work in construction or a related field, for instance, it’s never a bad time to revisit your fall prevention measures to ensure your practices are up to par. (Our Construction Safety Matters Sheet offers fantastic insight.) Likewise, if your company produces chemicals — or works with or around them — it might be time to take a closer look at your hazard communication practices. (Check out our Hazard Communication Tip Sheet for additional guidance.)

It takes everyone working together to create safer working environments — and pinpointing potential areas of risk is a great first step. If you have questions on the above information, or if you’d like to learn more about how to assess and address potential risks in your workplace, feel free to contact BCH. Our risk management experts are glad to help.