In 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Below are the most cited violations of 2016 according to OSHA.

Because they’re so common, these are requirements you should double check! Employers are responsible for a safe workplace and keeping it free of hazards.

Fall protection

Employees must be supervised to make sure they don’t fall when walking or working on unprotected surfaces or edges higher than six feet. Protective systems must be put in place to ensure they don’t. This standard outlines these systems and how those precautions must be constructed.

Hazard communication

This standard dictates the handling and storage of chemical hazards and how to communicate the dangers of such hazards to employees.


Employers must protect workers from falls and falling objects when working on or around scaffolding ten feet or higher. The scaffolding must be designed and constructed by a qualified person.

Respiratory protection

Employers must establish and maintain a respiratory protection program, complete with respirator use, maintenance and repair, employee training and medical evaluation.


This standard dictates the control of hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

Powered industrial trucks

Trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks must be designed, maintained and operated a certain way. Those who operate these trucks must be trained appropriately.


Ladders must be properly stored and accessed. The top rung should not be used as a step and workers should never carry anything to upset their balance while on the ladder.

Machine guarding

Machinery must be covered to protect employees from projectile hazards created by operation, including ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.

Electrical wiring

Wiring and insulation must be grounded. This includes flexible cords and cables and temporary wires and splices.

 Electrical general requirement

 Live wires and electrical wires must be installed a certain way, guarded and legibly marked to indicate its purpose.

OSHA issued more than 35,000 such citations in 2016. While this might seem like information overload, it’s worth researching the specifics for each of these standards to make sure your workplace can pass an inspection. You might avoid a citation or two, or more importantly, you might save your employees’ lives.

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