Ladders Top Workplace Safety Violations

James R. Hood
James R. Hood
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Ladders climbed to the top of the list of safety violations compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 2020, with 5,424 violations cited.

“In a year that was defined by the ongoing pandemic, workplace safety became more important than ever,” said Lorraine M. Martin, National Safety Council president and CEO. “The OSHA Top 10 list reminds us why we must continue to focus on persistent safety risks as we navigate new challenges. These data help us pinpoint areas where we can improve so we can better prioritize workplace safety in the future world of work.”

It was the tenth successive year that ladders and other fall protection standards topped the violation list. Other violations in the top 10 were the same as the previous year, although some changed positions.

The Top 10 for FY 2020 are:

  1. Fall Protection, 5,424 violations
  2. Hazard Communication, 3,199
  3. Respiratory Protection, 2,649
  4. Scaffolding, 2,538
  5. Ladders, 2,129
  6. Lockout/Tagout, 2,065
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, 1,932
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements, 1,621
  9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection, 1,369 
  10. Machine Guarding,1,313

Examples of ladder accidents

Here is a sample of accidents involving ladders, taken from the OSHA database. Entries are truncated and the word “ladder” may not be visible in each citation.

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James R. Hood

Jim is a publishing entrepreneur and journalist. He founded ConsumerAffairs in 1998 and earlier was the founder of Zapnews, after holding executive posts at the Associated Press.