Are You in Compliance With These Most Frequently Violated OSHA Standards?

Regular examination of potential risks and safety hazards within your organization can help prevent workplace injuries and costly non-compliance fines. Analyzing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) top ten safety violations for the year is a good place to begin these safety reviews—if you know the most common areas of workplace vulnerability, you can take steps to reduce risk.

In the 2022 fiscal year, OSHA issued almost 25,000 safety violations, up from just over 21,000 in 2021. The top ten violation categories remained the same since last year, but there was some shifting in the ranks. Fall Protection - General Requirements still tops the list of violations, for the twelfth year in a row. Hazard Communication, which was at spot 5 in 2021, rose to be the second most cited standard in 2022. Below, we break down the full list, as posted at the end of November 2022.

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (standard 1926.501): 5,980 violations
    2021 Violations: 5,295 
    2021 Ranking: 1
    Ensures that employers have fall protection systems in place, including protected edges, strength and integrity of working surfaces, presence of holes, and more. For more information, see our "Is Fall Protection Your Safety Weak Spot?" blog post.

  2. Hazard Communication (standard 1910.1200): 2,682 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,947 
    2021 Ranking: 5
    Makes sure employees have access to information regarding all chemicals produced or imported within their workplace and ensures proper communication of these hazards. To learn more about hazard communication requirements, see our "Hazard Communication Safety Requirements—And Failures" blog post.

  3. Ladders (standard 1926.1053): 2,471 violations 
    2021 Violations: 2,026 
    2021 Ranking: 3

    Applies to all ladders: their ability to support loads, composition of their pieces, and more. To learn more about ladder safety, read our "Ascending to Ladder Safety—One Rung at a Time" blog post.

  4.  Respiratory Protection (standard 1910.134): 2,430 violations

    2021 Violations: 2,527
    2021 Ranking: 2
    Requires employers to establish and maintain respiratory protection in the workplace, especially when such equipment is necessary due to the presence of dusts, fogs, gases, etc. This includes but is not limited to employee training, fit testing, program administration, and more. For more respiratory protection guideline analysis, see our "Take a Deep Breath—and Maintain Respiratory Protection Compliance" blog post.

  5. Scaffolding (standard 1926.451): 2,285 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,948 
    2021 Ranking: 4
    Regulates the support capabilities of scaffolding and applicable scaffolding gear. To learn more about OSHA scaffolding safety requirements, read our "Get a Firm Foothold in Scaffolding Safety" blog post.

  6. Lockout/Tagout (standard 1910.147): 2,175
    2021 Violations: 1,698 
    2021 Ranking: 6
    Applies to machines and equipment in which unexpected release of stored energy could cause harm, as well as provides guidelines for the control of hazardous energy. For more about compliance with this OSHA safety standard, see our "4 Essentials For Your Lockout/Tagout Program" blog post.

  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (standard 1910.178): 1,922 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,420 
    2021 Ranking: 9
    Covers safety requirements of machinery within the workplace powered via electricity or internal combustion, including maintenance, fire protection, and use, among others. More information can be found in our "Put the Safety Pedal to the Metal: Powered Industrial Trucks" blog post.

  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (standard 1926.503): 1,778 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,666 
    2021 Ranking: 7
    Specifically addresses necessary fall protection training for all employees who may be exposed to fall hazards. For more on fall protection training safety, see our "No Train, No Gain: Fall Protection Safety" blog post.

  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (standard 1926.102): 1,582 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,452 violations
    2021 Ranking: 8
    Ensures the appropriate use of eye and face protection. To learn more and help protect employees from eye and face hazards, read our "Envisioning a Safe Future with Eye and Face Protection" blog post.

  10. Machine Guarding (standard 1910.212): 1, 488 violations
    2021 Violations: 1,113 violations
    2021 Ranking: 10
    Protects employees by ensuring guards are in place on machinery that can cause hazards due to rotating parts, chipping of materials, sparking, and more. Learn more about machine guarding safety guidelines with our "Stay On Guard for Machine Guarding Safety" blog post.

Is your organization compliant with OSHA's standards? Keep your employees and workplace safe—and avoid hefty fines—by making sure you are following all OSHA guidelines. Triumvirate can help with a range of site-specific services that can help you remain compliant: Contact us today.

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