Tag Archive for: OSHA violations 2023

Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2023

Each year, at the National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Congress & Expo, OSHA reveals its Top 10 most frequently cited standards for the fiscal year. While the finalized numbers aren’t released until the following Spring, this preliminary data gives a good overview of trends in workplace safety and where employers should be focusing their efforts to protect their workers. 

What Are OSHA Workplace Standards?

Created in 1970, the purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to ensure workers have a safe and healthy work environment. The agency accomplishes this by creating various standards for the employers it oversees. 

Most private-sector employers in the U.S. are subject to OSHA regulations. Standards for various things, like fall protection, working in confined spaces, and preventing trench cave-ins, are meant to eliminate or reduce accidents by identifying hazards and then removing them or dealing with them as safely as possible. 

Penalties for OSHA violations can be steep. If an employer violates a particular regulation, they can be fined or even face criminal prosecution. Also, violating OSHA standards can be used as strong evidence of negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death case after a workplace accident. 

Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2023

Unfortunately, many of the same OSHA violations appear at the top of this list year after year. Here are the top 10 OSHA violations for 2023:

1. Fall Protection — General Requirements (7,271 citations)

Fall protection has topped this list of the most cited standards for the 13th year in a row. Some of the key fall protection standards OSHA mandates include putting guards over holes, using toe-boards and guardrails, and installing railings or safety nets. 

2. Hazard Communication (3,213 citations)

There were nearly 800 more Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard violations last year than in the previous year. Some examples of these standards include using proper Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and training workers who work with chemicals. 

3. Ladders (2,978 citations)

There were also more citations related to the use of ladders in 2023 than in the prior year. Roofing contractors were the top industry cited for violations such as having ladders loaded above their capacity and having hazards obstructing ladder rungs. 

4. Scaffolding (2,859 citations)

Scaffolding violations have risen up on the list from 2022, with masonry contractors getting the most attention. This standard has rules related to things like weight limits for scaffolding and how scaffolding must be installed and inspected. 

5. Powered Industrial Trucks (2,561 citations)

OSHA’s standard for powered industrial trucks regulates safety requirements for tractors, forklifts, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks, although not necessarily farm vehicles or road vehicles. 

6. Lockout/Tagout (2,554 citations)

Violations of OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout standard can be incredibly serious because they relate to how an employer controls hazardous energy. The procedures in the standard can prevent electrocution and other serious accidents, many of which can be fatal. 

7. Respiratory Protection (2,481 citations)

This was the third-highest violation on the list just last year. OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard helps protect workers from various environmental hazards. Many of these requirements direct employers to provide the appropriate respirators to workers and training on how to properly use the equipment. 

8. Fall Protection — Training Requirements (2,112 citations)

In addition to having the number one spot for fall protection violations, employers are also being cited for failing to adhere to OSHA’s Fall Protection Training Requirements, which includes initial training and retraining of workers as well as keeping written records of certification. 

9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment — Eye and Face Protection (2,074 citations)

OSHA’s Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment standard mandates that employers provide suitable protection for workers to protect them from various workplace hazards. Violations of this standard relate to a lack of eye and face protection to protect from chemicals, gases, or flying particles. 

10. Machine Guarding (1,644 citations)

Not having proper guards on machinery can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Employers are cited for failing to adhere to OSHA’s Machine Guarding standards if the guards on machinery are removed or altered, posing a danger to workers. 

Learn More About OSHA Standards and Workers’ Protections

OSHA standards weren’t created to make things more difficult for employers but rather to protect the safety and health of employees. Without them, the rate of workplace accidents, injuries, and deaths would be even higher. 

Most workers in the U.S. receive protection from OSHA standards. If you’ve been injured at work and would like to learn more about these standards and workers’ protections, an OSHA Injury Attorney can help.