Top OSHA Fines: Construction

There are many hazards in the field of construction. Many of the hazards are due to the dangerous equipment that is often utilized, but there are also many hazards associated with the job site itself. Construction sites usually feature many different jobs all happening at once, from framing to plumbing to electrical work and beyond. With all this going on, it’s no wonder that construction sites are under a close watch by OSHA.

OHSA prides itself among keeping employees safe while on the job and the field of construction is no exception.

In total in the 2010 fiscal year OSHA inspected 16,473 small construction companies and handed out 50,630 citations. These citations cost employers more than $46 million or an average of about $900 a citation.

Wow, $46 million dollars is a lot of money! This financial figure is astronomical and goes to show that safety needs to be taken far more seriously in the business of construction. If 16,473 small construction companies were inspected in 2010 and 50,630 citations were cited that means that each small construction business averaged 3 citations.

Here is a list of the top ten OSHA fines regarding small construction companies (1-19 employees), this report is posted on

1. General Requirements (CFR 192604581)

  • 8,506 cited
  • $8.5 million in fines
  • $999 avg. fine

2. Duty to have fall protection (CFR 19260501)

  • 7,654 cited
  • $11.125 million in fines
  • $1,453 avg. fine

3. Ladders (CFR 19261053)

  • 3,961 citied
  • $2.84 million in fines
  • $716 avg. fine

4. Training Requirements (CFR 19260503)

  • 2,473 cited
  • $1.63 million in fines
  • $659 avg. fine

5. Hazard Communication (CFR 19101200)

  • 2,029 cited
  • $555K in fines
  • $273 avg. fine

6. General Safety and Health Provisions (CFR 1926.020)

  • 2,025 cited
  • $1.43 million in fines
  • $706 avg. fine

7. Head Protection (CFR 1926.100)

  • 1,811 cited
  • $1.15 million in fines
  • $635 avg. fine

8. Eye and Face Protection (CFR 1926.102)

  • 1,476 citied
  • $849k in fines
  • $575 avg. fine

9. Specific Excavation Requirements (CFR 1926.651)

  • 1,436 cited
  • $1.87 million in fines
  • $1,266 avg. fine

10. Aerial Lifts (CFR 1926.453)

  • 1,376 citied
  • $1.39 million in fines
  • $1,010 avg. fine

The most commonly cited OSHA citation falls under the category of general requirements with a whopping 8,506 citations totaling nearly $8.5 million dollars in fines. One of the most common mishaps among small construction businesses is that they do not believe that they need a safety program because they have such few employees. This is simply not true. It doesn’t matter if a business has 5 employees or 5,000 employees the need for a safety program is essential. Safety guidelines provide employees with the knowledge and training necessary to perform the functions of their jobs with ease and with safety in mind. The first step towards remedying this problem is to create a clear and concise safety program which involves training based upon specific OSHA safety standards in combination with specific job related safety practices, and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Safety should be a crucial component of any business. You can’t run a successful business if safety is not at the heart of all job functions. When employees become injured while on the job not only is someone hurt, production is then stalled, and hefty medical costs are incurred as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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