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Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2021 & How to Avoid Them

Employee health and safety is always top of mind at Bergman Brothers. In this blog, we’re breaking down the top ten OSHA violations of 2021 and how we can work to avoid making those mistakes in 2022.

Every year, OSHA provides a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations of the fiscal year. The list is based on more than 30,000 workplace inspections performed by federal OSHA staff over the course of a 12 month time period. OSHA regulations are meant to protect workers from just these sorts of safety hazards and concerns. But year after year we see sometimes devastating and often preventable accidents that can dramatically change or end worker lives. For your awareness, here is the list of top 10 OSHA citations and some insight into how you can prevent these accidents on your job site.

Fall Protection

Falls are regularly among the leading causes of worker deaths and injury. Citations are often due to lack of simple fall protection such as floor hole covers, guard rail and toe-boards for elevated open-sided platforms, safety harness and lines, nets, and handrails. These actions protect workers from falls, but only if employers take the issue seriously.

Respiratory Protection

While respiratory protection is necessary to prevent long-term, even fatal, health problems from exposure to asbestos, silica, or other toxins, we still see citations for employers who fail to provide the necessary protection and training for their employees.


Ladder safety covers topics such as loads, angle, rungs, slipping, and use. Citations (and accidents) are often the result of improper use of ladders. Review the OSHA guidelines on ladder use to make sure you are in compliance.


OSHA provides specific instruction on how to improve the safety of both suspended and narrow frame scaffolds. Following guidance on construction, use, load, and minimizing hazards can help to reduce the number of incidents associated with scaffolding.

Hazard communication

A failure in hazard communication can easily result in accidents on the worksite. Safety is and should be considered everyone’s responsibility. Communicating risk and hazard recognition should be at the top of all employer’s minds.


Far too many workers are killed or injured every year by machinery that starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Proper Lockout/Tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them.

Fall Protection – Training Requirements

Knowing how to train employees to protect themselves from the hazards of falls is critical. And something that should be more top of mind as this citation joins the Top 10 for the first time. Prioritize fall protection training to keep your team safe.

Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection

Wearing the right equipment should be an easy goal to accomplish. Proper equipment literally can save lives, not to mention the sight of your employees. Make sure they have the gear they need to stay safe on their job.

Powered industrial trucks

Forklifts are notoriously dangerous. The number of fatalities associated with these trucks shows that workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these machines.

Machine guarding

Machine guarding violations are often to blame for deaths and injuries from lack of protection. This is a great concern because by simply installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery, it prevents amputations and worse.


For more tips on how to keep your team safe and happy this year, connect with the recruiting team at Bergman Brothers today.