The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just announced its list of the most frequent safety violations found in the workplace. While the list is preliminary, the numbers at this point will likely reflect the final list. The news was announced with some fanfare by Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs on the floor of the 2018 NSC Congress & Expo, which is the largest annual gathering of safety professionals in the world.

The Top 10

The numbers in parenthesis are the violation citation totals.

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (7,270)
  2. Hazard Communication (4,552)
  3. Scaffolding (3,336)
  4. Respiratory Protection (3,118)
  5. Lockout/Tagout (2,944)
  6. Ladders (2,812)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (2,294)
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1,972)
  9. Machine Guarding (1,972)
  10. Eye and Face Protection (1,536)

Inside the numbers

The most common violations do not vary much from year to year, but the number 10 entry was not on the 2017 list. Notable increases this year (which is still incomplete at this time): The Fall Protection entry number is up 1,100 citations and Hazard Communication is up nearly 400. The top seven spots are in the same order as last year, with Machine Guarding and Fall Protection – Training Requirements switching places in the No. 8 and No. 9 spots. Eye and Face Protection was not on last year’s list, replacing last 2017’s No. 10 of Electrical – Wiring Methods.

Why this list is important

Making a list of top violations and announcing it at a large convention may seem to make light of the potential for injury. However, OSHA keeps these lists to remind employers, managers and workers where there is the highest likelihood for injury. Ideally, this knowledge increases vigilance for greater safety precautions against workplace accidents and injuries, particularly regarding those listed here.

Those injured on the job do have options, whether it is workers’ compensation or in some cases a personal injury lawsuit. Qualified attorneys here in Pennsylvania can guide the injured and their families past these challenges, fighting for them to get the financial support and compensation they need.