Ring in the New Year by Committing to a Culture of Safety

A good place to start is OSHA's Top 10 Violations from 2016

By Jeremiah Wooten, Managing Partner at Inspectioneering. January 3, 2017

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, comprised from approximately 32,000 workplace inspections by federal OSHA staff.  One thing of note is that year-after-year the list rarely changes. 

With thousands of workers killed on the job every year and millions injured, it is important for employers to recognize these common mistakes and implement the necessary procedures to protect their employees. By creating a culture of safety in the workplace, starting with these 10 most common violations, companies can significantly reduce the number of on-the-job injuries and fatalities that occur annually.

Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016 

The top 10 violations of 2016 are listed out below. It should be no surprise that fall-related and electrical-related accidents are well represented. 

  1. Fall Protection
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.501 – violations generally involve failing to provide adequate fall protection systems to employees working at elevated heights.
  2. Hazard Communication
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 – violations generally involve failure to properly classify hazards and communicate them to employees.
  3. Scaffolds
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.451 – violations typically involve improper assembly of scaffolds, such a missing planking.
  4. Respiratory Protection
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 – violations are generally for employees using respirators not being medically evaluated or properly fit tested.
  5. Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 – violations include failing to have machine specific LOTO procedures, inadequate training on procedures, and failing to conduct periodic inspections of procedures.
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 – violations generally involve the unsafe use of a forklift.
  7. Ladders
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1053 – violations typically involve defective ladders or the improper use of portable ladders.
  8. Machine Guarding
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.212 – violations are generally for failing to have machines and equipment adequately guarded.
  9. Electrical Wiring
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.305 – violations are generally for temporary wiring used in lieu of permanent wiring and inappropriate use of extension (flexible) cords.
  10. Electrical General Requirements
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.303 – violations generally involve the improper installation of electrical equipment.



  • Galassi, T., 2016, Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety, U.S. Department of Labor Blog,
  • Cordaro, T., 2016, OSHA's 2016 Top Ten Violations, OSHA Law Blog, Jackson Lewis, P.C.,



Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Training Solutions

Improve your skills in key mechanical integrity subjects.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos & Webinars

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.