Richard Fairfax, director of OSHA’s directorate of enforcement programs, presented the most common OSHA citations on the expo floor at NSC. According to Fairfax, 81 percent of the violations OSHA recorded throughout the year were either serious or willful violations. The number of top 10 violations has increased almost 30 percent over the same time period in 2008.

“These standards here in the top 10 are fairly consistent from year to year to year,” Fairfax said. Citations involving ladders, however, have only recently entered the top 10. “Three to 4 years ago, ladders weren’t on the Top 10,” he added. “Anecdotal data shows people are using ladders when they shouldn’t.”

Once again, hazard communication landed within the top three positions on the lists hazard. With OSHA’s recent proposal to align its hazcom standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), Fairfax said OSHA recognizes the need to start another outreach campaign and offer more education in this area.

OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations for 2009 are:

  1. Scaffolding, General – 9,093 violations
  2. Fall Protection – 6,771 violations
  3. Hazard Communication – 6,378 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection – 3,803 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout – 3,321 violations
  6. Electrical, Wiring – 3,079 violations
  7. Ladders – 3,072 violations
  8. Powered Industrial Trucks – 2,993 violations
  9. Electrical, General – 2,556 violations
  10. Machine Guarding – 2,364 violations

“We appreciate our colleagues at OSHA presenting their new violation data to such a receptive audience,” said NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher. “The sheer number of violations gives us new resolve in raising awareness about the importance of having sounds safety procedures.”