OSHA Top 10 Violations of 2023

Worker falls from scaffolding on floor, violating OSHA standards.

Complementing Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements, voluntary consensus standards enhance the safety of numerous worksites. Voluntary standards touch every aspect of safety covered in OSHA’s Top 10.

OSHA Top 10 Violations of 2023

The following is a list of OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA for all industries that took place during the fiscal year 2023 ending September 30:

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

Fall Protection

Perhaps most notable, fall protection remains a top citation for the 13th year in a row in OSHA’s Top 10, and compared to 2022, the number of violations rose significantly from 5,260 to 7,271. Fall Protection-General Requirements violations (7,271) featured more than double that of the second-highest cited violation, Hazard Communication (3,213).

“Duty To Have Fall Protection” under the “Safety and Health Regulations for Construction” is a rule that requires employers to provide safety training and fall protection to employees who work in professions (e.g., construction) in which falling often results in work-related injuries. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 395 of the 1069 construction fatalities recorded in 2022 (BLS data). Additionally, each year, more than 800 workers die, and 200,000 are injured on average in work-related falls.

The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. One way to support the stand-down is ensuring businesses implement and maintain safeguards to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities. Luckily, adhering to voluntary consensus standards such as ISO 10333 – Fall Protection and ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 / ANSI/ASSP Z359.2 – Fall Protection Training help provide fall protection.

Compared to OSHA Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2022, there are a couple shifts in the rankings in the 2023 ranking. Additionally, there is an overall increase in citations and enforcement activities. Here are a few takeaways:

  • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) continues to rank #2 on the list for the second consecutive year (2022-2023), after falling to #4 in 2021.
  • OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard fell to #7 in 2023, after ranking #3 in 2020 and 2022 and #2 in 2021 (presumably due to increased Respiratory Protection Standard enforcement emphasis during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Citations for OSHA’s Ladders Standard rose from #4 in 2022 to reach #3 in 2023. That rank as steadily risen in the past six years, from 7th and 8th between 2013 through 2016 to consistently ranking 3rd and 4th since 2021.
  • The overall numbers of inspections and citations continue to return to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, showing signs of continued upward trends. This could perhaps reflect the increased funding and enforcement efforts at Department of Labor (DOL)/OSHA under the leadership of the current administration.

Past OSHA Top 10 Violations

The ANSI Blog has discussed the OSHA top 10 in recent years:

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