Deputy Director Urges Employers to be Proactive in Order to Avoid Being Cited

With the recently announced increase in OSHA fines and changes on how inspections are tallied ahead, it is even more critical for employers to be aware of the most cited OSHA violations from this past year.

With OSHA’s final Top 10 list set to be released this month, now is a good time for employers to review their current safety programs and refocus their efforts for the coming year.


In late September at the National Safety Council Congress, Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust announced 2015’s preliminary top 10 list of most frequently cited workplace safety violations.

The preliminary top 10 most-cited safety violations for the 2015 fiscal year are:

  1. Fall Protection – 6,721 violations
  2. Hazard Communication – 5,192 violations
  3. Scaffolding in Construction – 4,295 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection – 3,305 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout – 3,002 violations
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks – 2,760 violations
  7. Ladders in Construction – 2,489 violations
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods – 2,404 violations
  9. Machine Guarding – 2,295 violations
  10. Electrical – General Requirements – 1,973 violations



According to OSHA, this list is published annually to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace, according to OSHA.

 As an employer, how do you avoid being cited by OSHA? By acting now.


TIP: Employers who want to avoid being cited for one of the Top 10 violations must be proactive…

— Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust said in an interview with Safety+Health Magazine


OSHA encourages employers to abate hazards before an OSHA inspection and, more importantly, before a worker gets hurt.

“The OSHA Top 10 list is a roadmap that identifies the hazards you want to avoid on the journey to safety excellence,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman in published reports.

Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. Is your company complying? Are you ready for an OSHA inspection?

If you aren’t sure, start by reviewing OSHA’s top 10 list and what you’ve seen at your own company. Then you’ll be ready to scrutinize your current safety and training programs and focus your efforts for 2016.

Workplace Safety Infographic