Most Common OSHA Workplace Safety Violations in 2015

Most Common OSHA Workplace Safety Violations in 2015

by / Tuesday, 01 December 2015 / Published in Personal Injury, Workplace Woes
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Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) receives thousands complaints about unsafe workplaces. They work hard to protect workers in a wide variety of industries from being forced to work in circumstances that could put their lives and personal safety in jeopardy. But with so many different industries and working conditions being considered, there are still certain types of workplace safety violations that seem to be more common than others.

OSHA has just released their list of the 10 most common workplace safety violations they found in 2015. Over the past year, OSHA has made some changes to the types of data they collect and how they review it. In 2015, OSHA started collecting more data about amputations and hospitalizations and started utilizing the data they gather from inspections differently, giving more weight to complex inspections.

The five most common violations OSHA issued in 2015 were:


Falls are always the number one cause of OSHA workplace violations, which is unfortunate, because there are so many things that can be done to prevent falls, whether it’s providing harnesses or simply staying vigilant to prevent workers from slipping on wet floors. In 2015, OSHA issued:

  • 4,079 residential construction violations

  • 1,385 unprotected sides and edges violations

  • 718 roofing on low-slope roofs violations

  • 542 steep roofs violations

  • 151 falling through holes prevention violations

Hazard Communication

The flammability, combustibility and corrosiveness of chemicals in the workplace should always be displayed on the container and shipping labels, along with detailed facts in material safety data sheets. Training employees on the proper handling techniques for hazardous substances and how to read chemical labels prevents hazard communication violations, and employers should pay close attention to label placement and the regular completion of written plans. In 2015, OSHA issued:

  • 1,746 development, implementation and maintenance of written hazard communication violations

  • 1,350 provision of effective information to coworkers and training on hazardous material violations

  • 505 Safety Data Sheets maintenance that are accessible violations

  • 496 employee hazard communication program training violations

  • 352 Safety Data Sheet development and maintenance violations


Scaffolding that collapses can injure workers using it as well as the individuals underneath it. All materials and equipment must be properly maintained, and employees must be aware of any weight limits in order to prevent scaffolding violations. Here are how many scaffolding-related citations OSHA issued in 2015:

  • 788 employee fall protection violations

  • 644 access to scaffold platform violations

  • 577 platform placement violations

  • 403 guardrail or fall arrest system violations

  • 266 adequate foundation for scaffold uprights, poles, legs and frames violations

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection violations can be avoided by having a clear written policy, regular training programs of both employer and employee, the appropriate type of equipment to handle hazardous materials, regular employee medical evaluations and proper sizing of protective gear. In 2015, OSHA issued:

  • 670 general medical evaluation requirements violations

  • 527 implementation and establishing of a written respiratory protection program violations

  • 330 facepiece fit testing violations

  • 262 violations of allowing employees to wear their own non-hazardous respiratory protection

  • 232 evaluation and identification of respiratory hazards violations


When you’re working with heavy machinery, following proper lockout/tagout procedures is essential to prevent accidents that could cause amputation, injury, or death during unexpected machinery startups or maintenance. But too many employers decide to get lax about taking this simple step to keep workers safe on the job. Just look at how many lockout/tagout violations OSHA had to issue this year:

  • 627 training and establishment of energy control procedure violations

  • 445 energy control program violations

  • 424 Annual energy control procedure inspection violations

  • 277 training on function and purpose of energy control program violations

  • 197 lockout/tagout device application violations

The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka handle other areas of work-related law like workers compensation cases. Contact us to see how we can help you receive fair compensation for your workplace injury.