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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2023


OSHA has announced its preliminary list of the top 10 most frequently cited workplace standards for fiscal year 2023 (October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023). Eric Harbin, OSHA Region 6 administrator presented the preliminary data during the recent NSC Safety Congress & Expo  (October 23-25, 2023).

The Fall Protection Standard continues to be the most frequently cited OSHA standard for the 13th consecutive year, and the Hazard Communication Standard remains at number two for the 2nd consecutive year. Although OSHA has not yet published the specific violations for each standard, they have provided the number of violations for the top 10 most frequently cited standards for fiscal year 2023:


  1. Fall Protection- General Requirements(1926.501)7,271 violations

Based on previous years, violations typically include not having adequate fall protection in residential construction, unprotected sides and edges, and lack of fall protection systems for roofing work on low-slope roofs.

  1. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) 3,213 violations

Violations are commonly due to not developing and/or implementing a written Hazard Communication Program, lack of adequate information and training, and not maintaining readily accessible SDS.

  1. Ladders(1926.1053)2,978 violations

Violations frequently involve improper use of portable ladders, use of ladders for a purpose for which they were not designed, and using the top or top step of a stepladder as a step.

  1. Scaffolding(1926.451)2,859 violations

Violations are often due to not providing appropriate fall protection and related violations of fall protection requirements, not providing appropriate scaffold access, and not providing adequate guardrail systems.

  1. Powered Industrial Trucks(1910.178)2,561 violations

Violations of this standard frequently include inadequate operator training on the type of truck they will be driving, inadequate refresher training and evaluation, and trucks not being taken out of service that need repair, are defective, or in any way unsafe.

  1. Lockout/Tagout(1910.147)2,554 violations

In previous years, violations have included not developing and/or documenting energy control procedures, lack of adequate training and communication on lockout/tagout procedures, and not conducting periodic inspections of the energy control procedures at least annually to ensure they are being followed.

  1. Respiratory Protection(1910.134)2,481 violations

Violations are often related to failure to provide a medical evaluation to determine employees’ ability to use a respirator, lack of a written Respiratory Protection Program, and failure to do initial and annual fit testing.

  1. Fall Protection- Training Requirements(1926.503)2,112 violations

Violations are commonly because of not providing an adequate training program for employees who might be exposed to fall hazards, not having written training certification records, and not conducting retraining.

  1. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, Eye and Face Protection(1926.102) 2,074 violations

Commonly reported violations of this standard involve not ensuring that employees are wearing adequate eye and face protection, not requiring that employees use eye protection with side protection, and not ensuring that employees who wear prescription lenses wear eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wear eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses.

  1. Machine Guarding(1910.212)1,644 violations

Violations are expected to include inadequate point of operation guarding, improper anchoring of fixed machinery, and not providing proper blade guarding to prevent exposure to blades.


It’s noteworthy that for all of the top 10  most cited standards, the number of violations increased since 2022, in some cases significantly. For instance, violations related to the Fall Protection Standard increased by more than 2,000 (or 23%). Significant increases were also seen for the Hazard Communication Standard (25% increase) and the Lockout/Tagout Standard (22% increase).

OSHA encourages employers to use the top 10 list of violations as a guide for identifying the most significant hazards applicable to their workplace and as a tool to increase workplace safety.

Check out some of our other blogs for compliance tips for the most frequently cited standards for general industry: Hazard Communication, Powered Industrial Trucks, Lockout/Tagout, and Respiratory Protection. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on annual training requirements to make sure you’re compliant with the training provisions of these standards and others!

For additional information about the top10 list for 2023, please contact us!

This blog was written by Beth Graham, Director of Quality, Research, and Training 

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