Top 10 OSHA Violations – Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Top Ten OSHA violations

Every year, OSHA gives us some insight into the violations they cite each year. Their fiscal year runs from October to September, so we get the results for the year a little earlier than you might think. Even so, these are preliminary results, so they may change slightly. If you’re playing the Top 10 OSHA Violations game at home, Vegas is setting the odds in favor of some usual suspects.

Overall, the numbers are down 15.4% from the prior year. In fact, the overall OSHA violation numbers have dropped well below even 2020 levels. That shows that in the areas of PPE, OSHA fall protection, and even respiratory protection, both tools and contractors are getting smarter. Believe us, you want to pass an OSHA inspection when the time comes. For now, let’s look at the list of violations for this year. Drum roll, please…

Top 10 OSHA Violations

10 – PPE–Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,411 violations

9 – Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,743 violations

8 – Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,773 OSHA violations

7 – Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,093 violations

6 – Ladders (1926.1053): 2,345 OSHA violations

5 – Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,450 violations

4 – Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,606 violations

3 – Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,813 violations

2 – Hazard Communication: 3,671 violations

1 – Fall Protection – General Requirements: 6,010 violations

Top 10 OSHA violations

Top Ten OSHA Violations Takeaways

There are a couple of realities worth noting here. First, taking a look at the OSHA Top 10 violations really is a good place to start your own job site evaluation. It also allows us to scratch the itch of curiosity to see what companies are getting dinged for.

At the bottom, Eye and Face Protection takes over and drops Electrical Wiring Methods from the top 10. The other 9 are the same as last year with Machine Guarding and Fall Protection Training swapping positions.

Total OSHA Violations Stats Breakdown

Since I’m sure you’re dying for some more stats, here are a few more to chew on.

  • Total violations in the Top 10 are down 15.4%
    • 27,369 violations in 2017
    • 31,816 violations in 2018
    • 26,915 violations in 2020
  • PPE–Eye Protection: 8.1% decrease
  • Powered Industrial Trucks: 8.8% decrease
  • Hazard Communication: 9.0% decrease
  • Fall Protection Training: 10.5% decrease
  • Machine Guarding: 11.6% decrease
  • Lockout/Tagout: 11.6% decrease
  • Scaffolding: 15.7% decrease
  • Ladders: 16.6% decrease
  • Respiratory Protection: 21.4% decrease
  • Fall Protection: 22.2% decrease

Fall Protection Still Leading OSHA Violations

Clearly, there’s a heavy focus on fall protection along with working at height when you throw in ladders and scaffolding. Those 4 fall protection and height categories account for 12,941 violations on their own or 48.4%.

It’s also interesting to see the top 10 show a 15.4% decrease overall. Is it a heavier focus on the top violations, less enforcement, or are we as an industry finally doing better with obeying and meeting the regulations?

So there you have it—the OSHA Top 10 Violations. Now that you know, tell us what you think in the comments below!

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