OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations For The Construction Industry

Every year, OSHA releases its list of the “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards” as a way to make employers aware of the standards most cited for violations. The idea is that employers will use the list to identify and fix any hazards that would result in a violation of OSHA’s standards and in turn reduce the number of citations and prevent possible injuries. The idea behind the list is good, but the problem is that it lumps all citations from all industries together in order to come up with the top 10. This means that employers in a given industry that doesn’t have employees working at height might not find it very useful that the most cited standard in 2013 was duty to have fall protection.

Without looking it up, I’m willing to bet that the most cited violations for someone working in agriculture is vastly different than for someone working in finance. Luckily, OSHA has a website where you can search the Frequently Cited OSHA Standards by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes as well as establishment size and by federal or state jurisdiction. Last year we used this to come up with a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Construction Industry Standards Violations for federal citations using NAICS Code 23: Construction for the 2012 fiscal year.

The top 10 most frequently cited violations for the commercial construction industry during the time period of October 2012 through September 2013 is nearly identical to last year’s list. The standard for eye and face protection moved up one spot, switching places with the standard for head protection. Number 9 on the list for 2012 was the standard for wiring methods, components and equipment for general use was bumped from the top 10 in 2013, falling to No. 12, and was replaced by the standard for specific excavation requirements. The rest of the list remained intact from the previous year.

Below is the list for the 2013 fiscal year. Included are the title and standard number along with the top 10 rank for the previous year and the number of citations.

Subpart Title: Fall Protection
Standard Number: 1926.501
Title: Duty to have fall protection.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 1
Number of Citations: 7,957

Subpart Title: Scaffolds
Standard Number: 1926.451
Title: General requirements.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 2
Number of Citations: 5,186

Subpart Title: Ladders
Standard Number: 1926.1053
Title: Ladders.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 3
Number of Citations: 3,228

Subpart Title: Fall Protection
Standard Number: 1926.503
Title: Training requirements.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 4
Number of Citations: 2,136

Subpart Title: Toxic and Hazardous Substances
Standard Number: 1910.1200
Title: Hazard Communication.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 5
Number of Citations: 1,180

Subpart Title: Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment
Standard Number: 1926.102
Title: Eye and face protection.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 7
Number of Citations: 1,161

Subpart Title: Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment
Standard Number: 1926.100
Title: Head protection.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 6
Number of Citations: 1,121

Subpart Title: Scaffolds
Standard Number: 1926.453
Title: Aerial lifts.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 8
Number of Citations: 976

Subpart Title: Excavations
Standard Number: 1926.651
Title: Specific excavation requirements.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: N/A
Number of Citations: 972

Subpart Title: General Safety and Health Provisions
Standard Number: 1926.20
Title: General safety and health provisions.
FY2012 Top 10 Rank: 10
Number of Citations: 941

Please note that the number of citations listed are current as of Thursday, March 20, 2014 and are apt to change as some of the numbers had increased in a few areas when compared to a search conducted earlier in the week.

For the construction industry in FY2013 there was a total of 15,033 inspections which resulted in 37,799 citations being issued. There was a definite jump in the number of citations issued for violations of the top 10 most cited standards from the previous year. I don’t have info on the number of inspections for just the construction industry, I do know that despite having fewer federal inspections done in FY2013 than there was in FY2012 there was a significant increase in the total number of citations issued.

2 Responses to “OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations For The Construction Industry”

  1. Mike Robbins March 21, 2014 at 12:01 AM #

    Interesting article. Sadly, I’m not surprised the list is almost identical to the prior year.

    Mike Robbins

    • Kendall Jones March 21, 2014 at 7:02 AM #

      Thanks Mike, Not sure about prior lists just for construction but I do know that the list OSHA puts out is pretty consistent year in and year out. Bad thing is incidents cited went up over last year instead of going down.

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