Beyond OSHA’s Top 10

Guarding of openings and the General Duty Clause

Every December, Safety+Health presents the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations from the previous fiscal year.

Throughout 2012, S+H will go beyond the annual Top 10 by presenting violations 11-30. The data*, supplied by OSHA, represents violations cited in FY 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011).

*The data presented does not reflect all violations cited by OSHA during fiscal year 2011. OSHA is in a transition period for implementing its new OSHA Information System from its current Integrated Management Information System. This article contains only data from IMIS.


Guarding floor and wall openings and holes
Standard: 1910.23

This standard covers guarding protection for openings, and goes over the specific requirements for protections such as rails, fences and other acceptable barriers.

Total violations 1,594
Serious violations 1,371
Willful violations 11
Repeat violations 47
Total initial penalties proposed $5.16 million


General Duty Clause
Occupational Safety and Health Act Section: 5(a)(1)

This is the general requirement for employers to provide employees with a place of employment free of recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious harm.

Total violations 1,471
Serious violations 1,428
Willful violations 20
Repeat violations 18
Total initial penalties proposed $7.19 million

Read coverage of OSHA’s Top 10 from the December 2011 issue – including an exclusive Q&A with the deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, as well as the annual Penalty Box.

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