Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2021

Oct. 22, 2021
OSHA reveals the biggest danger areas in workplaces as reflected in the number of citations.

You might think that after more than a decade, companies and their workers alike would've started taking falls from height a lot more seriously. And yet, for 11 straight years now, the most frequently cited violation of OSHA standards is fall protection. Despite all of the protocols, procedures and equipment in place to protect workers from falls, as well as organized events such as OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down, falls are far too prevalent in the workplace.

In OSHA’s reveal of the top 10 safety violations of 2021 at the recent NSC conference in Orlando, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, pointed out that the total number of violations was down somewhat from the previous year, largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating many employees working from home for much or part of the year.

The 2021 list includes the same 10 violations as the previous year (and indeed, the same list from 2019 as well), although the order did change somewhat. The following slides report the total number of violations (based on OSHA’s preliminary count), as well as the ranking of each violation in the previous year.

As Kapust observes, OSHA makes this list available every year to help employers determine what areas in their workplaces they should focus on to improve safety.

About the Author

Dave Blanchard | Editor-in-Chief / Senior Director of Content

During his career Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeek, EHS Today, Material Handling & Logistics, Logistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. Prior to joining Endeavor/Informa/Penton, he spent a decade covering the artificial intelligence industry. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. 

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