Fall Protection Tops OSHA Top 10 Violation List


The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently unveiled its annual top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2023.

The preliminary data was presented by OSHA Region 6 Administrator Eric Harbin during the 2023 National Safety Council 2023 Safety Congress and Expo. The fiscal year ended on Sept. 30.

Fall Protection – General Requirements remains at the top of the list for the 13th year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication and Ladders once again.

“Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, we continue to see many of the same types of violations appear on OSHA’s Top 10 list,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “As a safety community, we must come together to acknowledge these persistent trends and identify solutions to better protect workers.”

The Top 10 most frequently cited standards for FY 2023 are:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 7,271 violations;
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,213;
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,978;
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,859;
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,561;
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,554;
  7. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,481;
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 2,112;
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 2,074; and
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,644.

A more detailed analysis of the Top 10 violations for 2023 was published in Safety+Health magazine, a National Safety Council publication.

Past Numbers

Last year, Hazard Communication citations came in at No. 2, with 2,682 violations in fiscal year 2022. Ladders (2,471) and Respiratory Protection (2,430) took No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

In 2021, Respiratory Protection came in at No. 2, counting 2,527 violations that year. Hazard Communication, however, fell from the No. 2 in 2020 to the No. 5 spot with 1,947 violations.

In 2020, Respiratory Protection violations came in at the No. 3 spot, reporting 2,649 violations. This was followed by Scaffolding (2,538) and Ladders (2,129), which have been trading places on the Top 10 list for the last several years.

In 2019, Hazard Communication also came in at No. 2, counting 3,671 violations that year. Respiratory Protection violations, however, rose from the No. 5 spot with 2,450 violations. The same top 10 were also featured in the 2018 list with the spots varying. The Electrical—Wiring Methods violation has not been on the list since 2017.

Recent Fall Safety Bulletin

On Thursday (Nov. 30), the U.S. Department of Labor also sent out an emailed bulletin urging employers to follow federal safety guidelines to protect workers from falls as the holiday season arrives.

The DOL adds that OSHA offers resources to help keep workers safe year-round as well as holiday-related jobs. This inclues working with lighted decorations to serving customers in packed retail stores and from making rush deliveries to picking and packing orders in warehouses.

“The holiday season is a time for celebration and reflection for many, but they are also occasions when employees face safety hazards found atop ladders or roofs putting decorations in place, in busy warehouses and retail stores meeting heightened customer demands, and working outdoors as winter approaches,” explained OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago.

“To make the holidays happy for all, employers must stress workplace safety and health and train employees to prevent serious and fatal injuries.”

To assist employers and workers, OSHA has released a “9 Tips to Protect Workers During the Holidays” video and other information focused on keeping workers safe during the holiday season in retail, warehousing, delivery and other seasonal jobs.


Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Good Technical Practice; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Program/Project Management; Safety; Violations; Workers

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