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OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2021 + Safety Resources (Updated in 2022)


Every year, OSHA compiles a list of the 10 most-cited standard violations from the previous fiscal year. The list was recently revealed during a virtual presentation with Safety + Health magazine, where Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the preliminary data.

The 2021 statistics show some slight changes from the 2020 list. Hazard communication dropped several places, with respiratory protection and ladders moving to No. 2 and No.3. Fall protection—general requirements stayed at the top of the list.

Top 10 Most-Cited Violations of Fiscal Year 2021

OSHA publishes this list to remind employers of the importance of safety and alert them of commonly cited standards, allowing them to pinpoint areas needing improvement.

Below are top 10 most frequently cited violations of 2021, along with resources to help you take the necessary steps to find and fix hazards in your workplace.

Standard ViolationNumber of ViolationsPrevention Resources
1. Fall Protection General Requirements (1926.501)5,295
2. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)2,527
3. Ladders (1926.1053)2,026
4. Scaffolding (1926.451)


5. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)


6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)


7. Fall Protection Training Requirements (1926.503)1,666

8. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment—Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)1,452

9. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)1,420

10. Machine Guarding (1910.212)1,113

How to Avoid OSHA Citations

To avoid OSHA fines and prevent worker injuries, illnesses and deaths, you should thoroughly review these standards and ensure you are complying with all employer requirements.

It’s also critical that if you develop and enforce a safety program, you may want to consider implementing a safety committee. EMC has a robust collection of Tech Sheets and Safety Briefs that you can use as a starting point.

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