Justin Lobdell - Dec 7, 2021

Respiratory Protection Jumps to #2 on OSHA's Top 10 List

OHD was there at the National Safety Council’s Safety Congress & Expo in Orlando Florida when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its preliminary results of the Top 10 Safety Violations for fiscal year 2021. The list was presented virtually by Acting Director of OSHA and Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust.

OSHA citations overall were down in 2021. Those listed in the top 10 only amount to 21,092 citations, the lowest number reported on this list in at least five years. This is likely due to a reduction in inspections coupled with an increased use of virtual inspections. Citations involving violations of the Respiratory Protection Standard (CFR 1910.134), however, were not significantly reduced. Respiratory Protection jumped to number 2 (with 2521 citations) from number 3 (with 2649) in 2020 in the list of OSHA’s Top 10, a slight decline in count. Although this may come as no surprise in a year that continued to be plagued by a pandemic involving a respiratory illness, it might shock some that one of the main issues was a lack of fit testing. Many thought that OSHA had relaxed its enforcement of certain aspects of respirator fit testing, and while OSHA did issue temporary enforcement guidance in 2020, this guidance has all lapsed, and it was also never an excuse to simply not perform fit testing, particularly initial fit testing which was never relaxed.

Fall Protection topped the list, as it has for over a decade. See the complete list below:

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards 2021:

  1. Fall Protection, general requirements (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Respiratory Protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  3. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  4. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  5. Hazard Communication Standard, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  6. Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), general requirements (29 CFR 1910.147)
  7. Fall Protection - Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
  8. Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.178)
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)

Respiratory protection will likely continue to be heavily enforced. If you need more information on Respirator Fit Testing please reach out to us. We would love to partner with you in advancing your respiratory protection program. Learn more here: https://ohdusa.com/quantifit2/

Written by Justin Lobdell