For the 13th year in a row, fall protection violations topped the list of OSHA workplace safety violations nationwide, according to a recent National Safety Council (NSC) report.
“Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, we continue to see many of the same types of violations appear on OSHA’s Top 10 list,” NSC president and CEO Lorraine Martin said, per the NSC report. “As a safety community, we must come together to acknowledge these persistent trends and identify solutions to better protect workers.”
Lack of fall protection tops OSHA's annual list
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced the top 10 workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2023, which ended Sept. 30. As in past years, fall protection violations topped the list of OSHA workplace safety violations nationwide.
In fiscal year 2023, OSHA issued 7,271 violations for failure to comply with OSHA Standard 1926.501. Known as “Duty To Have Fall Protection” under the “Safety and Health Regulations for Construction,” this rule requires employers to provide safety training and fall protection to employees who work in professions in which falling often results in work-related injuries.
Such regulations are critical since fall-related injuries remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and injuries. Each year, more than 800 workers die, and 200,000 are injured on average in work-related falls, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Top OSHA workplace safety violations of 2023
Along with failure to provide fall protection for workers, the remaining top 10 OSHA workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2023 were:
- Hazard Communication (OSHA Standard 1910.1200) – 3,213 violations involving companies not correctly classifying hazardous chemicals or not properly warning employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
- Ladders (OSHA 1926.1053) – 2,978 violations involving unsafe ladders and stairways, not providing workers with safe ladders, or not properly securing ladders before use.
- Scaffolding (OSHA 1926.451) – 2,859 violations involving overloaded scaffolding, improperly secured scaffolding, and other scaffolding safety violations.
- Powered Industrial Trucks (OSHA 1910.178) – 2,561 violations involving unsafe forklifts, motorized hand trucks, platform lift trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks.
- Lockout/Tagout (OSHA 1910.147) – 2,554 violations involving power generators being improperly started, released, or stored.
- Respiratory Protection (OSHA 1910.134) – 2,481 violations for not providing workers with respirators, especially if their work exposes them to dust, gas, vapors, hazardous chemicals, or other dangerous substances.
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements (OSHA 1926.503) – 2,112 violations for not providing safety training to workers who could fall on the job and sustain a serious injury.
- Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (OSHA 1926.102) – 2,074 violations for not providing workers with face and eye protection, especially if their work involves flying particles, molten metal, acids, or liquid chemicals.
- Machine Guarding (OSHA 1910.212) – 1,644 violations for not equipping machines with protective guards, such as barrier guards, electronic safety devices, and two-hand tripping devices.
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