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OSHA Violations 2013, Detailed: Serious vs. Willful

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

In a previous article, we covered the 'Top Ten Violations' by Federal OSHA for FY 2013. I have wanted to come back to this topic once a bit more information was revealed, and what do you know? I recently came across an article from the National Safety Council (NSC.org) that not only had my previous list of "Most Frequently Cited" from last year, but it also included the top five sections cited under each OSHA Standard. As an added bonus, I have also included the "Top 10 Serious Violations" and the "Top 10 Willful Violations." Of course, both of these are for FY 2013 as well. 

Before I jump into the numbers, I wanted to help our readers fully understand what the difference between these types of violations. I have included below the definitions as stated by OSHA.


osha 10, osha training, osha safety topics, osha courses, osha general industry trainingSERIOUS: A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
WILLFUL: A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.



OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Violations for FY 2013

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) – 8,739 
    • Residential construction [(b)(13)] – 4,733
    • Unprotected sides and edges [(b)(1)] – 1,696
    • Roofing work on low-slope roofs [(b)(10)] – 912
    • Steep roofs [(b)(11)] – 656
    • Holes [(b)(4)] – 328
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 6,556 
      • Maintaining a written hazard communication program [(e)(1)] – 2,469
      • Providing employees with information and training [(h)(1)] – 1,561
      • Chemical container labeling [(f)(5)] – 701
      • Maintaining Safety Data Sheets [(g)(8)] – 611
      • Obtaining or developing Safety Data Sheets [(g)(1)] – 496
  • Scaffolding (1926.451) – 5,724 
      • Protection from falls to a lower level [(g)(1)] – 1,589
      • Planking or decking requirements [(b)(1)] – 788
      • Point of access for scaffold platforms [(e)(1)] – 871
      • Foundation requirements [(c)(2)] – 632
      • Guardrail requirements [(g)(4)] – 376
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 4,153 osha 10, osha training, osha safety topics, osha courses, osha general industry training
      • Medical evaluation general requirements [(e)(1)] – 705
      • Establishing and implementing written respirator protection program [(c)(1)] – 650
      • Covering situations when respirator use is not required [(c)(2)] – 510
      • Respirator selection general requirements [(d)(1)] – 342
      • Ensuring respirators are fit tested [(f)(2)] – 332
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 3,709 
      • Use of flexible cords and cables [(g)(1)] – 1,004
      • Conductors entering boxes, cabinets, or fittings [(b)(1)] – 821
      • Identification, splices and terminations [(g)(2)] – 703
      • Covers and canopies [(b)(2)] – 577
      • Temporary wiring [(a)(2)] – 194
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 3,544 
      • Safe operation [(l)(1)] – 905
      • Refresher training and evaluation [(l)(4)] – 575
      • Avoidance of duplicative training [(l)(6)] – 377
      • Taking truck out of service when repairs are necessary [(p)(1)] – 336
      • Maintenance of industrial trucks [(q)(7)] – 304
  • Ladders (1926.1053) – 3,524 
      • Requirements for portable ladders used for accessing upper landing surfaces [(b)(1)] – 1,866
      • Ladder use only for its designed purpose [(b)(4)] – 482
      • Not using the top or top step of step-ladder as a step [(b)(13)] – 268
      • Marking portable ladders with structural defects with tags noting them as defective [(b)(16)] – 215
      • Employees shall not carry objects or loads that could cause them to lose balance and fall [(b)(22)] – 107
  • osha 10, osha training, osha safety topics, osha courses, osha general industry trainingLockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,505 
      • Energy control procedure [(c)(4)] – 996
      • Periodic inspection [(c)(6)] – 653
      • Energy control program [(c)(1)] – 651
      • Training and communication [(c)(7)] – 580
      • Lockout or tagout device application [(d)(4)] – 169
  • Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 2,932
      • Installation and use of equipment [(b)(2)] – 814
      • Space around electric equipment [(g)(1)] – 670
      • Guarding of live parts [(g)(2)] – 347
      • Services, feeders, and branch circuits [(f)(2)] – 327
      • Examination of equipment [(b)(1)] – 280
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,852
      • Types of guarding [(a)(1)] – 1,815
      • Point of operation guarding [(a)(3)] – 662
      • Anchoring fixed machinery [(b)] – 214
      • Exposure of blades [(a)(5)] – 79
      • General requirements [(a)(2)] – 73

    Top 10 Serious Violations Federal OSHA issued in FY 2013

    1. osha 10, osha training, osha safety topics, osha courses, osha general industry trainingFall Protection (1926.501) – 7,492
    2. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 5,213
    3. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 3,761
    4. Ladders (1926.1053) – 3,162
    5. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,923
    6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 2,832
    7. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,588
    8. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,539
    9. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 2,365
    10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 2,204

    Top 10 Willful Violations Federal OSHA issued in FY 2013

    1. Fall protection (1926.501) – 73
    2. Excavations (1926.652) – 34
    3. Lead (1926.62) – 25
    4. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 23
    5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 20
    6. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 19
    7. Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes (1910.23) – 18
    8. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 17
    9. Process Safety Management (1910.119) – 14
    10. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 10

    Remember, in the safety world, if you think you have a problem....chances are you do! This is where Safety Training Services can help! We will train (and/or retrain) you and your employees on OSHA compliance & other safety-related courses. Our site or yours, our hands-on courses will provide you with appropriate training to keep you safe and consistent to OSHA requirements.
    Let me see  the classes!

    Tags: osha 10 general industry, osha 30 general industry, osha 10 construction industry, osha 10 class, osha violations 2013, osha general industry training, osha violations, osha 30 class

    Fire Extinguisher Service & the 7 Steps of Monthly Inspections

    Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Feb 04, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

    When it comes to fire extinguisher inspections, many of us think that annually you should be checking your fire extinguisher(s) and getting them serviced or refilled. Hopefully, you do at least this otherwise what I'm about to say may shock you.

    You must do a monthly inspection of all of your fire extinguishers in your home/workplace.

    importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionLuckily for us, this is a simple 7 step process that will become routine in time. The first two things you must know before starting an inspection of your fire extinguishers are:

    • Who is responsible for doing the monthly checks? If you are at home reading this, it may be a simple answer of yourself. But if you are at work then who is responsible? 
      • Whoever is should always be; it tends to be easier this way. The person held accountable gets used to that responsibility.
    • Before doing a monthly fire extinguisher inspection, you should always have a pen or marker and a rag with you.

    Now that you have decided who will be responsible and they have all the necessary materials to check the fire extinguisher, here are the 7 steps to follow in order to properly inspection your fire extinguisher.
    1. As you as approaching the fire extinguisher, you should first be checking that it is readily available. This means that it is not blocked by any objects, is not difficult to get to, and is within reach. It should be mounted with a sign above that states that an extinguisher is underneath.  
    • If anything is blocking the fire extinguisher, now is the time to resolve the issue.
  • Your next check is to pick up the extinguisher. Is it a powder type? Youimportance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspection must prevent the powder from settling. Go ahead, give it a shake. While its in your hands, is it any lighter than usual or than you'd expect? Call your servicing company (or Safety Training Services here) to have them check it out. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • The next check should be to check the extinguisher all over for dents, rust, oil, etc. If any substance (such as oil) is on it, dampen your rag and wipe it off. If there is any rust or the extinguisher has severe abuse, replace it soon as possible.
  • Mount the fire extinguisher back on the wall, make sure the instructions are still legible, and check the labels. Make sure to turn extinguisher so that the label is facing outward.
    • If the label is missing or anything is illegible, get a new label when possible. You may even, depending on the extinguisher's state, look into purchasing a whole new fire extinguisher.
  • importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionNow that the extinguisher is placed correctly and the label is facing outward, check the pin or safety seal. It should still be intact; if not, you should replace the fire extinguisher.
  • You should now look check the gauge. Is it still in the green zone? If not, call a service person/company immediately to have the extinguisher serviced and back in working order.
  • Lastly, make sure to check the tag on the fire extinguisher to verify that yearly service has been done within the last year. This is usually marked off on the tag or hole-punched (month/year). Most service companies sign off or mark when the inspection took place, not when its due, so be sure to take a moment to process the information so that you are in compliance with the yearly inspection. Check with your servicing company (or simply contact STS here) if you need assistance. If your fire extinguisher has NOT been serviced in the last year, call immediately to schedule for that to be done.
  • importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher inspectionCongratulations, your monthly inspection is complete. Be sure to sign your initials on the tag when it has space for monthly inspections. This verifies that the extinguisher is up-to-date and also proves to OSHA (if need arises) that a monthly inspection has been performed. 

    Click here for more about Fire Extinguisher Services

    If you want some or all of your employees to use fire extinguishers in an emergency, you must make sure they are fully trained. We will discuss fire extinguisher training; some issues and some safety tips in the next safety blog article! In the meantime, feel free to check out our fire extinguisher training course here:

    Click Here for Fire  Extinguisher Training

    Tags: OSHA, importance of safety training, fire extinguisher service, fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training, fire extinguisher class, fire extinguisher maintenance