OSHA Law Update A Hazard Communication

OSHA Releases 2013 Top 10 Most Cited Standards

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By Lindsay A. Smith

Last month, OSHA unveiled its List of the 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for fiscal year (“FY”) 2013 (i.e., October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013).  The announcement came at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress and Expo.

Here is the full list for FY 2013:

  1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection (cited 8,241 times during FY 2013)
  2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication (cited 6,156 times during FY 2013)
  3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding (cited 5,423 times during FY 2013)
  4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection (cited 3,879 times during FY 2013)
  5. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods (cited 3,452 times during FY 2013)
  6. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks (cited 3,340 times during FY 2013)
  7. 1926.1053 – Ladders (cited 3,311 times during FY 2013)
  8. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout (cited 3,254 times during FY 2013)
  9. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements (cited 2,745times in FY 2013)
  10. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding (cited 2,701 times during FY 2013)

Not surprisingly, Fall Protection remains the most cited standard again.  Of note is the fact that 3 out of the 10 top cited standards relate directly to the Construction Industry, namely Fall Protection, Scaffolding, and Ladders.

Comparing this year’s list to OSHA’s List of Top 10 Most Cited Standards for FY 2012, the top four violations remained the same in exactly the same order.  The remaining violations are consistent with the prior years but arranged in a different order.  For purposes of comparison and evaluating trends, here is OSHA’s Top 10 List for FY 2012:

  1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection (cited 7,250 times during FY 2012)
  2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication (cited 4,696 times during FY 2012)
  3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding (cited 3,814 times during FY 2012)
  4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection (cited 2,371 times during FY 2012)
  5. 1926.1053 – Ladders (cited 2,310 times during FY 2012)
  6. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding (cited 2,097 times during FY 2012)
  7. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks (cited 1,993 times during FY 2012)
  8. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods (cited 1,744 times during FY 2012)
  9. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout (cited 1,572 times during FY 2012)
  10. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements (cited 1,332 times during FY 2012)

This entire list has actually remained largely unchanged since FY 2011, with only minor differences in the order of the 10 standards provided.

The most significant change from FY 2012 to this year has been the number of gross violations for the standards on the list.  In FY 2013, Fall Protection violations were found 8,241 times, up from 7,250 violations in FY 2012 for the same standard; a difference of almost 1,000 more citations in only one year.  The 10th most frequently cited standard on the FY 2013 List (i.e., Machine Guarding) was cited 1,369 more times than the 10th most cited standard in FY 2012.

To get a sense of how many more citations OSHA is issuing now, the 10th most frequently cited standard this year was cited more times than the fourth most cited standard in FY 2012.  This pattern demonstrates that OSHA enforcement efforts have continued to rise during the current administration at a significant rate, even from year to year.