Preliminary data from 2011 indicates that gravity continues to be the main cause of citations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fall protection and scaffolding violations repeated as the most frequently cited safety standards among the 17,200 violations reported by OSHA in the completed fiscal year. The most frequently cited specific rule involves fall protection in residential construction, despite the decline in home building activity in the U.S.
The OSHA top ten list remains unchanged from 2010. After fall protection, hazard communication, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout and electrical hazards head the violations list. The list of frequently cited willful violations is different. In addition to fall protection, excavation/trenching, process safety management and asbestos are at the top of the list.
These statistics give employers a good idea of areas of emphasis for OSHA safety inspections. Any employer undergoing an inspection can expect inquiries and reviews of these commonly cited safety standards. The full OSHA list can be found here.