Top Workplace Safety Violations Remain Constant

HR & Safety

When OSHA released its preliminary list of Top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2023, some issues remained constant. 

For the 13th consecutive year, fall protection topped the list with 7,271 violations.

That more than doubled the second most cited violation, hazard communications, with 3,213.

“Work at height dominates the OSHA Top 10 safety violations list, year after year,” said Safety Priority president Chip Darius. “Gravity is a serial killer without mercy.

“To save lives and change this trend, employers must focus more on fall prevention, fall protection, and fall hazard training.”

OSHA implemented a new national emphasis program for falls in 2023. 

Top Violations

Ladders was number three on the list with 2,978 safety violations. 

“‘Ladders Last’ is an approach that’s catching on quickly,” said Darius. “Use a scaffold, a scissor lift, or a boom lift where possible, and only use a portable ladder if there is no other choice.”

Scaffolding (2,859) and powered industrial trucks (2,561) rounded out the top five. 

The biggest challenge in each category was: 

  • Fall Protection Requirements: Failure to have employees protected by a guard rail system when they are working six feet or above ground level accounted for 70% of the 7,271 violations.
  • Hazard Communications: 35% of employers failed to provide employees with a written communication program which met standards requirements.
  • Ladders: 62% of employers failed to have portable ladders being used to access an upper landing be at least three feet above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is being used to access.
  • Scaffolding: 28% of employers failed to have a system where employees working 10 feet or above on a scaffold were protected from falling to the lower level.
  • Powered Industrial Trucks: 24% of employers failed to ensure the vehicles were operated safely.

Increased Inspections

In each violation category, inspections increased.

Part of that could be attributed to the increase in the number of OSHA inspectors. 

According to Bloomberg Law News, the agency added 20% more inspectors to its staff since the start of the Biden administration. 

That increased the numbers of inspectors to about 900 nationwide. 

The table below is a comparison of the current safety violations with the preceding fiscal year.

Fiscal Year 2023Fiscal year 2022 (ranking in parentheses if different from 2023)
Fall Protection (General Requirements): 7,271Fall Protection (General Requirements): 5,915
Hazard Communication: 3,213Hazard Communication: 2,639
Ladders: 2,978Ladders: 2,449
Scaffolding: 2,859Scaffolding:, 2,251
Powered Industrial Trucks: 2,561Powered Industrial Trucks: 1,896
Lockout/Tagout: 2,554Lockout/Tagout: 2,139
Respiratory Protection: 2,481Respiratory Protection: 2,412
Fall Protection (Training Requirements): 2,112Fall Protection (Training Requirements): 1,762
Personal Protection and Life Saving Equipment (Eye and Face Protection): 2,074Personal Protection and Life Saving Equipment (Eye and Face Protection): 1,572
Machine Guarding: 1,644Machine Guarding: 1,469

Regional Rankings

The violations cited for Region 1, which includes Connecticut, had some differences with the national ranking. 

The region did have fall protection and hazard communication as the top two violations.

However, powered industrial trucks, respiratory protection, and ladders made up the rest of the top five.

“Employers and safety committees should use the Top 10 list as a guide to prioritize focus on reducing serious injuries and fatalities.”

Safety Priority’s Chip Darius

OSHA provides training on how to control hazards in all of the OSHA Top 10 topics through the OSHA Training Institute Region 1 Education Center.

“Connecticut requires a safety committee in all workplaces with 25 or more employees,” said Darius. 

“Employers and safety committees should use the Top 10 list as a guide to prioritize focus on reducing serious injuries and fatalities.”


1 thought on “Top Workplace Safety Violations Remain Constant”

  1. What are the numbers in California for fall general requirements, ladders, general training/requirements, scaffolding, fall protection general requirements?

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