Top 10 OSHA Violations

November 09, 2017 | Blog

OSHA has announced its top 10 safety violations found at the workplaces it inspected during 2016. This list stays fairly consistent from year to year and is a great starting place for business owners to focus their training efforts as part of a comprehensive safety program. The top ten OSHA workplace violations for 2016 were:

  1. Fall Protection in Construction
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout
  6. Ladders
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks/Forklifts
  8. Guarding (exposure to points of operation)
  9. Fall Protection Training
  10. Electrical Wiring Methods

As a safety consultant I have had the opportunity to be involved with a wide variety of clients that range from small steel erectors to a large aerospace engineering company. Unfortunately, we typically get new clients only after they are in the middle of a safety crisis. It is very frustrating to see companies that are receiving OSHA citations or worse yet, hurting their employees because they won’t do the simple little things in safety. In today’s competitive business world, safety must be a part of the culture. Yes, there are the fly by night “low bidder” companies out there that you will lose some projects too, but if you want your company to be a lasting enterprise, that is something you are proud of, then you need to start with safety. Below is a list of some simple practices that every company needs to make a part of their culture:

  • Pre-Task Safety Analysis-  Have each crew perform a tasks safety analysis for every task that they will be performing. These need to be very specific, every task has it’s own inherent hazards.


  • Weekly Toolbox Talks- At the start of each week hold a safety meeting for the entire crew. Make sure the talk is relevant to the work that the crew is performing.


  • Training Records- Keep a log of the training records that each employee has. The first citation that OSHA typically hands out is for  employee safety training. If OSHA showed up on your site today could you produce training records for each member of the crew?


  • Site Safety Orientation- Every site has its own set of hazards, emergency procedures, and qualified rescue personnel. Train every person that works on that site who, what and where these are.


  • Perform accident investigations and root cause analysis, to include near misses.  Near Misses are incidents that could have easily resulted in a serious injury but did not.


  • Keep your logs up to date and look at them. OSHA 300 logs record work site injuries and illnesses, use these to conduct an incident analysis for each entry to figure out the root cause of the incidents and ways to eliminate future risks.

MSC Safety Solutions was founded in 1990, we provide complete safety management assistance: policy development, training, compliance inspections, accident investigation, crisis management, assistance & representation.