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OSHA Compliance

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was created to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for employees. Employers must provide a workplace that's free from serious hazards and that follows all OSHA requirements, such as these high-profile safety and health standards:

OSHA compliance training is required for employees as part of several standards. View our training checklist to see what may be required for your business. In addition, written safety plans are required for several industries. Browse our safety plan solutions. Plus, see our temporary worker safety page as well as the OSHA compliance training solutions below.

Essential OSHA Safety Solutions

OSHA Top Ten

Most Cited OSHA Standards

Which OSHA regulations are most commonly violated? Take a look at the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards in fiscal year 2017 (October 2016 through September 2017):

  1. Duty to have fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) – view OSHA Fall Protection solutions →
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) – view OSHA Hazard Communication solutions →
  3. Scaffolds, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) – view OSHA Scaffolding solutions →
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) – view OSHA Respiratory Protection solutions →
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147) – view OSHA Lockout/Tagout solutions →
  6. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053) – view OSHA Ladder & Stairway solutions →
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178) – view OSHA Forklift Safety solutions →
  8. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212) – view OSHA Machine Guarding solutions →
  9. Fall Protection–Training, construction (29 CFR 1926.503) – view Fall Protection Training solutions →
  10. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305) – view OSHA Electrical Safety solutions →

OSHA Inspections

With the buzz surrounding OSHA's stepped-up enforcement, employers often wonder what their chances are for an inspection. While almost any employer could be inspected on any given day, there are certain factors that increase the likelihood of an inspection, including:

  • Imminent danger — often triggered by a call from an employee or member of the public, a referral from another agency or a plain-view observation.
  • Fatality/catastrophe — triggered by incidents involving a death, hospitalization, amputation, or loss of eye.
  • Worker complaints and referrals — triggered by allegations of hazards or violations.
  • Targeted inspections — triggered by National Emphasis Programs, and Regional and Local Emphasis Programs.
  • Follow-up inspections — triggered by citations issued in the past. OSHA conducts follow-up inspections to ensure hazards have been abated at a specific facility and other locations of the same company where it believes similar hazards likely exist.

OSHA conducts approximately 40,000 inspections per year, resulting in adjusted penalties of approximately $35 million. See below for more facts and figures regarding OSHA inspection.

Federal OSHA Inspections — By the Numbers

Reason for inspection Description Frequency
National, regional, local emphasis programs
  • Hazard-based (e.g., combustible dust)
  • Equipment-based (e.g., forklifts, presses)
  • Industry-based (e.g., logging, residential construction)
40-50% of all inspections.
Complaints
  • Most commonly from employee complaints
25% of all inspections
Referrals from other agencies
  • Referrals from local building inspectors, EPA inspectors, etc.
13% of all inspections
Follow-up from prior inspection
  • OSHA often conducts follow-up inspections of employers who have previously been cited
Varies
Plain-view
  • More common in the construction industry, where OSHA inspectors drive by a jobsite and notice a potentially unsafe situation
Severe injury reports
  • When employers report a fatality, hospitalization, amputation or loss of eye, or OSHA learns of these through media reports or other sources
1,800 per year

More OSHA Resources