Skip to main content

Top Ten OSHA Violations 2020

21 January, 2021

Most everyone likes a top ten list, and OSHA is always on hand to provide the 10 most cited safety violations of the previous year. Many of these pertain to the paint industry, and they are a good reminder to make sure you, your staff, and your crew is up to date on how to stay safe. It’s OSHA’s hope that by reading this list, contractors and employers will be encouraged to take steps to mitigate these hazards in the future.

  1. Fall Protection (Construction standard) – 8,241 violations:  Fall protection must be put in place when a worker is at a height of four feet or more.
  2. Hazard Communication – 6,156 violations: Do you know what’s in the products you use? Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and communicate this information to their customers.
  3. Scaffolding (Construction standard) – 5,423 violations: We’ve reported on several tragic accidents due to contractors falling from a scaffold, often because the support or the planking gives way. This can also endanger an employee working beneath, who can be struck with falling objects.
  4. Respiratory Protection – 3,879 violations: Respirators protect workers in many situations, and the correct respirator – along with the correct usage – is paramount.
  5. Lockout/Tagout – 3,254 violations: “Lockout-Tag out” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,340 violations: Many accidents occur in the use of these trucks (or forklifts), including driving off the loading docks or falling from other elevated surfaces.
  7. Ladders (Construction standard) – 3,311 violations: According to the US Department of Labor (DOL) falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma.
  8. Electrical, Wiring Methods – 3,452 violations: If your painters are working around potential electrical hazards, perhaps in a space with electrical contractors, make sure they know how to stay safe.
  9. Machine Guarding – 2,701 violations: Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. If not, it can result in injury.
  10. Electrical, General Requirements – 2,745 violations: While this doesn’t apply to painters directly, once again, make sure they know how to stay safe around potential electrical hazards.

By following proper safety guidelines, OSHA believes that you can help prevent most accidents and injuries on the job site.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

If cost and liability were not an issue, what's your one must-have at the company picnic?

Paintball Feld
Axe Throwing
10-Foot Nacho Trough
Potato Salad

Dang it's hot! Does your work vehicle have an orange water cooler?

It's not orange

Did you work for a painting contractor prior to owning your company?


Why haven't you hired a business coach?

Not worth the money
Too difficult to find a good one
I don't need one
I did hire one!

Has OSHA ever inspected your jobsite?


Who Buys the Paint Brushes?


What's the most paint you've ever spilled?


Did you take a week-long (or longer) vacation this summer?


If you had to rename your company one of the following, which would it be?


You meet someone new, and they ask what you do. What do you say?


On the job site, my painters mostly listen to...


Assessing Your Estimating Program

Are you getting the most out of your estimating tech?

Read Now

Paint Polls Results: Painting Techniques

We asked contractors  if they could paint with both hands on the…

Read Now

Materials Prices Going ... Down?

It could be good news for painters, especially those involved in…

Read Now

Jobsite of the Week: Detail Work in the Woods

Read Now