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Reviewing the OSHA Top 10

Safety violations can occur in any number of ways, but there are plenty of opportunities to help create safer work environments. One way is to become familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Top 10 list, , which accounts for the most frequently cited standards following inspections of businesses and work sites.

This helpful list can be used as a guide to learning what common risks to watch out for, and accessing vital information to help avoid devastating — and costly — worker injuries or fatalities. Each year, OSHA posts their Top 10 violations after the month of April to allow the prior fiscal year’s inspection data to finalize.1 For the 2020 fiscal year, the Top 10 consisted of:

  1. Fall Protection(C)
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Respiratory Protection
  4. Scaffolding(C)
  5. Ladders(C)
  6. Lockout/Tagout
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Fall Protection Training Requirements(C)
  9. Eye and Face Protection
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding

OSHA inspections across the nation are completed at both the state and federal levels. In 2021, over 60,000 OSHA inspections occurred, resulting in more than 89,000 violations.2 Knowing that these risks exist — and that there are plenty of resources to help mitigate them — what will you do for your business to avoid becoming a part of this statistic?

Consider your specific business and workplace. Depending on the type of work that is done there, one or more of these safety risks may be present. Have you read the applicable standards? Written safety programs and regular training are great ways to help engage your employees in safer work habits. Post clear signage with workplace safety reminders, and verify that all employees are using the proper equipment and attire for their jobs. This includes ensuring that employees have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), maintaining equipment and machinery, and verifying that your workplace is operating at a high standard of safety and functionality so your employees are comfortable and confident in their ability to complete their work.

Federated Insurance provides OSHA Top 10 information on mySHIELD®, and offers access to additional resources, such as sample safety programs and training content to help identify and mitigate worksite health and safety hazards.

1. Accessed 2/1/22.
2. Accessed 2/1/22.
3. Federated OSHA Top 10 Frequently Cited Standards. 2020-2021.
(C) Construction Standard instead of General Industry (according to OSHA)

Reviewing the OSHA Top 10 (pdf)