January 18, 2022

Fall Protection tops OSHA’s Violations

This shows once again why we need to make fall safety a top priority

OSHA’s 2021 report shows that for the 11th straight year Fall Protection – General Requirements, led the way in safety violations topping the list at 5,425 with Hazard Communication a distant second at 2,427 violations.

Respiratory Protection was the third most cited violation of 2021 with 2,649, followed by Scaffolding (2,538) and Ladders (2,129) to round out the top five.


The top 10 frequently cited OSHA standard violations

Fall Protection
5,424 violations

Hazard Communication 
3,199 violations

Respiratory Protection
2,649 violations

2,538 violations

2,129 violations

Control of Hazardous Energy 
2,065 violations

Powered Industrial Trucks  
1,932 violations

Fall Protection Training   
1,621 violations

Fall Protection Training   
1,621 violations

Eye and Face Protection    
1,369 violations

Machinery and Machine Guarding     
1,313 violations

Source: https://www.oshaeducationcenter.com/articles/top-10-osha-violations/https://www.osha.gov/top10citedstandards

With 880 workers dying from a fall related injury in the previous year and a further 244,000 injured badly enough to require one or more days off work, OSHA’s report is a timely reminder of the importance of safety in the workplace. Of particular concern is construction workers as they are seven times more at risk of a fatal fall than any other industry. Source: https://www.nsc.org/workplace/safety-topics/slips-trips-and-falls/slips-trips-and-falls-home

Falls are 100% preventable

With the right equipment and planning falls are 100% preventable.  More often than not, the simplest solution is the best. If there is another way to do the task safely—even if it takes a little longer—take it!  Taking shortcuts or skimping on the right equipment is a proven recipe for disaster.

Remember, any working environment where someone has the potential to fall and injure themselves is referred to as working at heights. It doesn’t have to be very high.  OSHA requires fall protection for any height of 4 feet or more.

The relevant passage of legislation states:

Except as provided elsewhere in this section, the employer must ensure that each employee on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected from falling by one or more of the following:

  • Guardrail systems;
  • Safety net systems; or
  • Personal fall protection systems, such as personal fall arrest, travel restraint, or positioning systems

When working at heights always:

  • Determine what equipment is needed to do the job safely. If you are unsure about the rating of an attachment, talk to the equipment manufacturer or hiring rental yard first.
  • Certified machinery attachments will always be plated with manufacturer specifications including capacity and operation. Do not use any equipment that does not have a manufacturer’s plate as it does not meet ANSI and OSHA regulations and puts your workers and entire job site at risk.
  • Make sure you are properly trained on how to use the equipment. This includes maximum load weights and operator safety protocols.
  • Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job.
  • If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather

Star Industry attachments that help to keep your worker’s safe

Star Industries offers a range of attachments for safe and complaint work at heights.

Industrial Work Platform

Our Industrial Work Platform for forklifts and telehandlers feature an OHSA compliant full rail guard system to keep your workers safe while working at height.  The platform is much safer than ladders and less expensive than time-consuming scaffolding.

Safety Work Platform

Our Safety Work Platform is the perfect tool to access those hard-to-reach places with your telehandler. Like the Industrial Work Platform it features OSHA compliant guard rails on all sides and a wider platform than boom lifts for an increased platform work area.

Safety Loading Platform

Our Safety Loading Platform is a great way to safely load and unload heavy equipment up to the maximum height of your forklift.  While it is not to be used to lift people as it has no guard rail, it’s a great way to help prevent back injuries lifting heavy equipment and reduce accidental damage to equipment.