by Jonathan Poole
Senior EHS Consultant

OSHA recently announced its Top 10 Violations for 2020, and all ten violations from 2019 remain on the list with subtle changes to the positions of a few safety topics.

Topping the list (when don’t they?), Fall Protection and Hazard Communication once again proved where American companies should be focusing much of their safety attention.  In a year where the COVID-19 pandemic was a priority, it is only fitting that Respiratory Protection climbed from the #5 spot of most routinely cited violations in 2019, to #3 in 2020.  Ladder issues in construction also climbed one spot (from #6 to #5) while Scaffolding dropped from #3 to #4 and Lockout/Tagout fell from #4 to #6.  Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs) and Fall Protection training remained at #7 and #8.  Meanwhile, Eye & Face Protection and Machinery/Machine Guarding switched spots at #9 and #10.

OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2020

1.  Fall protection general requirements for Construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
2.  Hazard communication standard for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
3.  Respiratory protection for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
4.  Scaffolding general requirements for Construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
5.  Ladders for Construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
6.  Control of hazardous energy/LOTO for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.147) 
7.  Powered industrial trucks for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
8.  Fall protection—Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
9.  Personal Protective & Lifesaving Equipment—Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
10. Machinery & machine guarding for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.212)

OSHA’s Top 10 list helps EHS professionals, particularly facility managers, target areas for safety improvements and review.  Where might you consider targeting training this year?   This list is a great place to start reviewing safety programs and evaluating the efficacy of instructional programs. 

As I repeat annually, the reason the topics on this list persist year-to-year is that the majority of facilities in America believe that their EHS policies are sufficient and their safety programs are up-to-date.  Before an accident or injury proves otherwise,  consider contacting The EI Group.  Our safety professionals offer decades of experience addressing all OSHA standards and understand how to improve your program via mock OSHA audits, program assessments and wide-ranging training topics committed to protecting your workers.  EI addresses each of these ten common safety topics as well as unique challenges associated with industrial hygiene, environmental issues and occupational health.  

If you have questions about any of OSHA’s Top 10 Violations and what we can do to address specific concerns at your facility, please contact me at (919) 459-5252 or [email protected].