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OSHA Compliance Toolkit

About OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with compliance and enforcement of regulations which keep workers safe across America. While some industries see a higher level of scrutiny than others, no business is exempt nor should any business sideline employee safety.

3 Simple Tools to Reduce OSHA Violations

Understanding the most common OSHA violations and the implications associated with citations will help your business better prioritize your risk profile and develop your action plan.

Description of Violation

Cited Standard Number


1.     Hazard Communication – Properly transmitting information on chemical hazards through a comprehensive program, container labeling, SDS and training.

29 CFR 1910.1200


2.     Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) – Servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment to control hazardous energy.

29 CFR 1910.147


3.     Portable Fire Extinguishers – Employers must follow specific guidelines concerning the placement, use, maintenance and testing of portable fire extinguishers.

29 CFR 1910.157


4.     General Scaffold Requirements – Using and maintaining scaffolds or related equipment properly according to manufacturer’s standards.

29 CFR 1926.451


5.     Duty to Have Fall Protection and Falling Object Protection Provide protection for each employee exposed to fall and falling object hazards Safety.

29 CFR 1910.28


6.     Respiratory ProtectionProperly administering a respiratory protection program, selecting correct respirators, completing medical evaluations to determine which employees are required to use respirators and providing tight-fitting equipment.

29 CFR 1910.134


7.     Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records – Ensuring that employees and their designated representatives have the right of access to relevant exposure and medical records.

29 CFR 1910.1020


8.     General Walking/Working Surface Requirements – Maintaining a clean, orderly and sanitary establishment, including passageways, storerooms and service rooms.

29 CFR 1910.22


9.     Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes – Ensuring every stairway floor opening has proper railings and other protection.

29 CFR 1910.23


10.   General Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements – Selecting the correct PPE, providing instruction, monitoring its use and maintaining the PPE to standards.

29 CFR 1910.132


*ACV (Average Cost per Violation) – The dollar amount represents the average cost per violation that employers in this industry paid in 2019. To understand the full capacity and scope of each standard, click on the standard number to visit and view the language in its entirety. Source:

Use this simple checklist to keep your team safe while on the jobsite and workplace!





Is there anything on paths, steps and fire escapes that could cause slips and trips? This can include buildup of leaves, wet grass, moss, mud, etc.

Set a regular work schedule for clearing paths (work on busiest areas first).

Make sure plants and trees do not overlap paths.

Are paths prone to ice buildup during winter months?

Monitor weather conditions and put winter procedures in place, such as gritting.

Consider use of safe alternative routes.

Are there any uneven levels on the paths?

Highlight the hazards by improving the lighting, applying contrasting colors to the slope or creating clearly marked signs.

Are there holes or potholes in the paving on footpaths?

Block off the areas as a temporary solution. Ensure that barriers cannot be easily moved.

Conduct proper maintenance—fill in holes, re-lay paving and replace broken paving stones.

Are fire escapes slippery when wet?

Improve the grip with slip resistant coating/strips.

Ladders are a leading cause of accidents in retail environments along side of slip, trip and fall incidents. Use this checklist to help you prepare your business for a safe and productive work environment.




Are all wooden ladder parts (a) sound, (b) free of sharp edges and splinters and (c) on visual inspection, free from shake, wane, compression failure, decay or other irregularities?

Are all portable wooden stepladders 20 feet or less in length?

Is the portable stepladder of uniform step spacing, and are steps less than 12 inches apart?

Is the inside width between side rails of each portable stepladder at least 11 ½ inches?

Is the metal spreader or locking device of portable stepladders of sufficient size and strength to securely hold the front and back sections in the open position?

Are all single wooden ladders 30 feet or less in length?

Are all two-section wooden extension ladders 60 feet or less in length?

Are all wooden ladders in good condition with a tight joint between the step and side rails? Are all hardware and fittings securely attached? Are the movable parts operating freely without binding or undue play?

Are the metal bearings of locks, wheels and pulleys frequently lubricated?

Is frayed or badly worn rope replaced?

Are the safety feet or other auxiliary equipment kept in good condition?

Are wooden ladders inspected frequently? Are those with defects withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked “Dangerous, do not use”?

Note: Wooden ladders with missing steps, rungs or cleats, broken side rails or other faulty equipment must not be used. Discarded ladders should be cut down the center of the rungs.

Are rungs kept free of grease and oil?

Are wooden ladders used and placed so that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one quarter of the working length of the ladder (the length along the ladder between the foot and the top support)?

Is the ladder (a) placed to prevent slipping, (b) lashed or (c) held in position?

Is the use of wooden ladders in the horizontal position prohibited?

Is only one person allowed on the ladder at a time?

Are ladders placed away from the front of doors that open toward the ladder unless the door is blocked, locked or guarded?

Are ladders always placed on stable bases?

Is the splicing of short ladders together prohibited?

Is the use of the tops of stepladders as steps prohibited?

When in use, do all 36-foot or less two-section extension wooden ladders have a minimum overlap of 3 feet between the two sections?

When in use, do all 36- to 48-foot two-section extension wooden ladders have a minimum overlap of 4 feet between the two sections?

When in use, do all 48- to 60-foot two-section extension wooden ladders have a minimum overlap of 5 feet between the two sections?

If ladders are used to gain access to a roof, are they extended at least 3 feet above the point of support?

Are all portable rung ladders equipped with nonslip bases where a hazard of slipping exists?






Are metal ladders maintained in good usable condition at all times?

Are the rungs and steps of portable metal ladders corrugated, knurled, dimpled, coated with skid-resistant material or otherwise treated to minimize the possibility of slipping?

Are all portable metal single ladders 30 feet or less in length?

Are all portable metal two-section ladders 48 feet or less in length?

If a portable metal ladder tips over, is it inspected immediately for damage?

If metal ladders are exposed to oil and grease, are they cleaned immediately?

Are metal ladders with defects marked and taken out of service until repaired by either the maintenance department or the manufacturer?

Are metal ladders placed at the proper angle?

Is it prohibited to use a metal ladder as a brace, skid, guy or gin pole, gangway or other uses than that for which the ladder was intended?

Has inspection been conducted to determine whether metal ladders might contact energized conductors?





Are portable fire extinguishers provided and mounted, located and identified so that they are readily accessible to employees without subjecting the employees to possible injury?


Are only approved portable fire extinguishers used?


Do you avoid providing or using portable fire extinguishers that use carbon tetrachloride or chlorobromomethane extinguishing agents?


Are portable fire extinguishers maintained, fully charged, operating properly and kept in designated places at all times except during use?


Have you removed from service all soldered or riveted shell, self-generating soda acid or self-generating foam or gas cartridge, water type portable fire extinguishers that are operated by inverting the extinguisher to rupture the cartridge or to initiate an uncontrollable pressure-generating chemical reaction to expel the agent?








Are portable fire extinguishers provided for employee use and selected and distributed based on the classes of anticipated workplace fires and on the size and degree of hazard that would affect their use?


Is the travel distance for employees to any Class A extinguisher 75 feet (22.9 m) or less?


Are you aware that you may use uniformly spaced standpipe systems or hose stations connected to a sprinkler system, installed for emergency use by employees instead of Class A portable fire extinguishers, provided that such systems meet the respective requirements of 1910.158 or 1910.159, that they provide total coverage of the area to be protected, and that employees are trained at least annually in their use?


Is the travel distance for employees to any Class B extinguisher 50 feet (15.2 m) or less?


Is the travel distance for employees to any Class C extinguisher based on the pattern for the existing Class A or Class B extinguishers?


Is the travel distance for employees from the combustible metal working area to any Class D extinguisher 75 feet (22.9 m) or less? Portable fire extinguishers for Class D hazards are required in areas where combustible metal powders, flakes, shavings or similarly sized products are generated at least once every two weeks.


Are all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace inspected, maintained and tested?


Are portable fire extinguishers or hoses visually inspected every month?


Is an annual maintenance check performed on portable fire extinguishers? Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. The employer must record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less. The record must be available to the Assistant Secretary upon request.


Are dry chemical extinguishers (that require a 12-year hydrostatic test) emptied and maintained every six years? Dry chemical extinguishers that have non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. When recharging or hydrostatic testing is performed, the six-year requirement begins from that date.


Is alternate equivalent protection provided when portable fire extinguishers are removed from service for maintenance and recharging?







Is hydrostatic testing performed by trained persons with suitable testing equipment and facilities?


Are portable extinguishers hydrostatically tested at the intervals listed in Table L-1 of this section, except under any of the following conditions?

·         When the unit has been repaired by soldering, welding, brazing or use of patching compounds


·         When the cylinder or shell threads are damaged


·         When there is corrosion that has caused pitting, including corrosion            under removable name plate assemblies


·         When the extinguisher has been burned in a fire


·         When a calcium chloride extinguishing agent has been used in a stainless steel shell


Have you conducted an internal examination of cylinders and shells to be tested prior to the hydrostatic tests?


Are portable fire extinguishers hydrostatically tested whenever they show new evidence of corrosion or mechanical injury, except under the conditions listed in paragraphs (f)(2)(i)-(v) of this section?


Are hydrostatic tests performed on extinguisher hose assemblies that are equipped with a shut-off nozzle at the discharge end of the hose? The test interval must be the same as specified for the extinguisher.


Are carbon dioxide hose assemblies hydrostatically tested with a shut-off nozzle at 1,250 psi (8,620 kPa)?


Are dry chemical and dry powder hose assemblies hydrostatically tested with a shut-off nozzle at 300 psi (2,070 kPa)? Hose assemblies passing a hydrostatic test do not require any type of recording or stamping.

1910.157(f)(7), 1910.157(f)(8)

Are hose assemblies tested for carbon dioxide extinguishers within a protective cage device?


Are carbon dioxide extinguishers and nitrogen or carbon dioxide cylinders used with wheeled extinguishers tested every five years at 5/3 of the service pressure as stamped into the cylinder? Nitrogen cylinders that comply with 49 CFR 173.34(e)(15) may be hydrostatically tested every 10 years.


Are stored pressure and Halon 1211 types of extinguishers hydrostatically tested at the factory test pressure, not to exceed two times the service pressure?


Are self-generating type soda acid and foam extinguishers tested at 350 psi (2,410 kPa)?


Is the use of air or gas pressure for hydrostatic testing avoided?


Have you removed extinguisher shells, cylinders or cartridges that fail a hydrostatic pressure test, or that are not fit for testing?


Is the equipment for testing compressed gas type cylinders of the water jacket type? Does the equipment have an expansion indicator that operates with an accuracy within 1 percent of the total expansion or .1cc (.1mL) of liquid?


Does the equipment for testing non-compressed gas type cylinders include the following?

     A hydrostatic test pump, hand- or power-operated, capable of producing at least 150 percent of the test pressure, which must include appropriate check valves and fittings


     A flexible connection for attachment to fittings to test through the extinguisher nozzle, test bonnet or hose outlet, as is applicable


     A protective cage or barrier for personal protection of the tester, designed to provide visual observation of the extinguisher under test


Do you maintain and provide upon request to the Assistant Secretary evidence that the required hydrostatic testing of fire extinguishers has been performed at the time intervals shown in Table L-1? Such evidence must be in the form of a certification record that includes the date of the test, the signature of the person who performed the test and the serial number, or other identifier, of the fire extinguisher that was tested. Such records must be kept until the extinguisher is hydrostatically retested at the time interval specified in Table L-1 or until the extinguisher is taken out of service, whichever comes first.



Note: A mark in the “NO” column indicates corrective action is needed.



Source: OSHA