OSHA’s Top Ten Citations, 2017

Every year, OSHA releases data about the OSHA standards that they most frequently issue citations for in the previous fiscal year. They did it in 2016. They did it in 2015. They did it…well, you get the idea.

And yep, they just did it again, at the National Safety Council’s annual Congress & Expo, releasing information for the 2017 fiscal year.

Typically, the different standards that appear on the list are the same ones, year after year, although sometimes one leap-frogs ahead of some others to rank more highly than it did in past years.

We’ve got the list for you below, but before you jump down and see the answers, let’s try to make this a little fun. What standard do you expect to be on the top of the list, with the most citations? Do you expect any standard to make a big jump up or down? Do you think any standard that’s typically on the list won’t be this year, or that there will be a new standard this year that usually isn’t there?

Give those questions a little though, and then move on to see the list below.

When OSHA releases their extended data on these standard citations, which typically happens in December or January, we’ll get you that information as well.


OSHA’s 2017 Top Ten Citations: The List

Here’s the actual list of the 10 standards that OSHA most frequently wrote citations for in fiscal year 2017:

  1. Fall Protection-General Requirements (1026.501), 6,072 citations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200), 4,176 citations
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451), 3,288 citations
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134), 3,097 citations
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147), 2,877 citations
  6. Ladders (1926.1053), 2,241 citations
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178), 2,162 citations
  8. Machine Guarding (1910.212), 1,933 citations
  9. Fall Protection–Training Requirements (1926.503), 1,523 citations
  10. Electrical-Wiring Methods (1910.305), 1,405 citations

OSHA’s 2017 Top Ten Citations List: Some Thoughts

The thing that jumps out at me the most is that while this list often has the same standards on it every year, this year Fall Protection–Training Requirements (1926.503) made the list with 1,523 citations. That really emphasizes the need for fall protection training. We’ve covered that issue quite a bit in recent blog posts, such as . In addition, we encourage you to consider adding some online fall protection training to your current safety training program at work. Check out the sample below.

Another thing I noticed is that there were significantly fewer citations for nearly all of the standards when compared to the previous year (fiscal year 2016). What do you think about this? Are we violating fewer standards or is OSHA simply not being as aggressive?

OSHA’s Top Ten Citations: Online Safety Training for the OSHA Top Ten

Here are some online safety training suggestions plus other helpful resources for this year’s OSHA Top Ten Citations.

Here are the top ten violations cited, listed from the standard with the most citations to the standard with the tenth-most citations.

1. Fall Protection, 1926.501

Fall Protection Resources:

Fall Protection Statistics:

Total citations- 6,072, which is about 900 fewer than the previous year.

Ranking in previous year-#1 last year (same as this year)

Fall Protection Safety Training Suggestion:

Here’s a sample of our online Fall Prevention and Protection training course.

2. Hazard Communication, 1910.1200

Hazard Communication Resources:

Hazard Communication Statistics:

Total citations- 4,176, almost 1,500 fewer than the previous year.

Ranking in previous year- #2 last year (same as this year)

Hazard Communication Training Suggestion

And here’s a sample of our online Hazard Communication training course.

3. Scaffolding, 1926.451

Scaffolding Resources:

Scaffolding Statistics:

Total citations- 3,288, about 600 fewer than the previous year.

Ranking in previous year- #3 (same as this year)

Scaffolding Training Suggestions

And here’s a sample of our online Scaffolding training course.

4. Respiratory Protection, 1910.134

Respiratory Protection Resources:

Respiratory Protection Statistics:

Total citations- 3,097, about 500 fewer than the previous year.

Ranking in previous year- #4 (same as this year)

Respiratory Protection Training Suggestions:

We offer quite a few courses on respirators and respiratory protection. Here they are.

Online Respirator Basics Training Course

Online Respirator Medical Evaluation and Fit Testing Training Course

Online Air-Supplying Respirators Training Course

Online Air-Purifying Respirators Training Course

Online Escape Respirator and SCSR Training Course

5. Lockout/Tagout, 1910.147

Lockout/Tagout Resources:

Lockout/Tagout Statistics:

Total citations- 2,877, about 600 fewer than the previous year

Ranking in previous year- #5 (same as this year)

Lockout/Tagout Training Suggestions

We have several courses related to lockout/tagout and control of hazardous energy. Here they are.

Online Lockout-Tagout Training Course (for authorized employees)

Online Lockout-Tagout Training Course (for affected employees)

Online Maintenance Safety Training Course

Online Line Breaking Safety Training Course

Online Blocking and Cribbing Training Course

6. Ladders, 1926.1053

Ladders Resources

Ladders Statistics:

Total violations- 2,241, about 400 fewer than the previous year

Ranking in previous year- #7 (one lower than this year)

Ladders Training Suggestion

Here is a sample of our online ladder safety training course.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178

Powered Industrial Trucks Resources:

Powered Industrial Trucks Statistics:

Total violations- 2,162, about 700 fewer than the previous year

Ranking in previous year- #6 (one higher than this year)

Powered Industrial Trucks Training Suggestions:

Here is a sample of our online Forklift Safety training course.

8. Machine Guarding, 1910.212

Machine Guarding Resources:

Machine Guarding Statistics:

Total violations- 1,933, about 500 fewer than the previous year

Ranking in previous year- #9 (one lower than this year)

Machine Guarding Training Suggestion:

Here is a sample of our online Machine Guarding training course.

9. Fall Protection–Training Requirements

Fall Protection Resources:

Fall Protection Statistics:

Total citations- 1,523. This standard wasn’t on the top ten list last year, so right off the top of our head we don’t know how this compares to the previous year, but we’ll see if we can track it down for you

Ranking in previous year-this standard wasn’t on the top ten list last year

Fall Protection Safety Training Suggestion:

Here’s a sample of our online Fall Prevention and Protection training course.

10. Electrical-Wiring Methods, 1910.305

Electrical-Wiring Methods Resources:

Electrical-Wiring Methods Statistics:

Total violations– 1,937, a BIG drop from the 2015 total of 2,624.

Ranking in previous year– #8 (one lower than this year–this was a big drop and bears some scrutiny)

Electrical-Wiring Methods Training Suggestions:

We have several e-learning courses related to electrical hazards. Check out the samples below.

Arc Flash Safety e-learning course.

NFPA 70E e-learning course.

Conclusion: OSHA’s Top Ten Citations, 2017

Remember that this is introductory data and we’ll follow up in December or January when OSHA releases its more extended data set about the 2017 citations. So stay tuned for that.

There are many ways you can reduce the risk of getting a citation from OSHA for one of these standard (or others). An effective safety training program is one of them. We believe the samples of online safety training courses we’ve provided above can be a great help, but we also invite you to download the free guide to effective safety training below (it’s based largely on ANSI Z490.1).

Let us know if you have any thoughts.


Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

Download Free Guide

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. He's worked in training/learning & development for 25 years, in safety and safety training for more than 10, is an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry OSHA 10 and 30, has completed a General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate from the University of Washington/Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center and an Instructional Design certification from the Association of Talent Development (ATD), and is a member of the committee creating the upcoming ANSI/ASSP Z490.2 national standard on online environmental, health, and safety training. Jeff frequently writes for magazines related to safety, safety training, and training and frequently speaks at conferences on the same issues, including the Washington Governor's Safety and Health Conference, the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference, the Wisconsin Safety Conference, the MSHA Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, and others.

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