Know Last Year’s Top 10 OSHA Violations to Increase Safety in 2023

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that reported injuries increased by 6.3% from 2020 to 2021. While the final 2022 injury rates haven’t yet been released, OSHA did just publish its list of the top 10 OSHA violations for 2022.

Unfortunately, 9 of the top 10 saw increases in citations last year, some by a surprisingly high amount. Whether this was a result of less safe working conditions or whether it was primarily due to an increase in enforcement remains to be seen.

Regardless of OSHA enforcement levels, it’s clear that better compliance leads to a safer work environment. Take a look at the top 10 OSHA violations in 2022 to spot areas for improvement in your own facility.

The 2022 Top 10 OSHA Violations

Here are the top 10 most cited OSHA violations according to Safety + Health, including how much the total for each has changed from the previous year.

1.    Fall Protection – General Requirements

Covering the proper construction and installation of safety systems to protect employees on walking-working surfaces (horizontal or vertical) with an unprotected side or edge above six feet.

Fall Protection has been number one on the top 10 OSHA violations list for 12 straight years.

Total Violations in 2022: 5,980
Increase from 2021: 13%

2.    Hazard Communication

Mandating communication of hazards from chemicals produced in the workplace and those imported into the workplace.

Total Violations in 2022: 2,682
Increase from 2021: 35%

3.    Ladders

Covering the safe use of ladders.

Total Violations in 2022: 2,471
Increase from 2021: 22%

4.    Respiratory Protection

Directing the establishment of a respiratory protection program, including its proper program administration, worksite-specific procedures, respirator selection, employee training, and more.

Total Violations in 2022: 2,430
Decrease from 2021: -4%

5.    Scaffolding

Covering general safety requirements for scaffolding, including protecting construction workers from falls and falling objects at heights of 10 feet or higher.

Total Violations in 2022: 2,285
Increase from 2021: 18%

6.    Lockout/Tagout

Outlining the minimum performance requirements for controlling hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

Total Violations in 2022: 2,175
Increase from 2021: 30%

7.    Powered Industrial Trucks

Covering design, maintenance, operation and operator training regarding powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks.

Total Violations in 2022: 1,922
Increase from 2021: 37%

8.    Fall Protection – Training Requirements

Addressing the proper training for employers regarding fall protection.

Total Violations in 2022: 1,778
Increase from 2021: 7%

9.    Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection

Addressing PPE for workers exposed to eye or face hazards, such as flying particles, chemical gases and vapors.

Total Violations in 2022: 1,582
Increase from 2021: 9%

10. Machine Guarding

Covering the guarding of machinery to protect operators and other employees from hazards, including those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.

Total Violations in 2022: 1,488
Increase from 2021: 35%

The Challenge of OSHA Compliance

Compliance leads to safety, but the complexity of rules and regulations, compounded by the busy day-to-day demands of running a business, can make it challenging to maintain ideal compliance. Even with the best of intentions, businesses can find themselves on the receiving end of one of these top 10 OSHA violations or, much worse, an avoidable injury.

Even more challenging, OSHA regularly updates its rules and regulations. For example, a major update expected this year is a modification to the Hazard Communications requirement. This change will create a uniform classification of hazardous chemicals internationally. Hazard Communications is the second most cited item on the Top 10 OSHA violations list.

The Importance of a Proven Compliance Partner

Compliance is both increasingly complex and critically important. However, it’s a specialization that is often not a business’s core competence. That’s why so many companies rely on GMG EnviroSafe. We work directly with our clients to provide expert support, training, documentation and services that help ensure OSHA regulation compliance and improve safety. With the Your Compliance Department program, this is made particularly easy. At GMG EnviroSafe, we make protecting your team, your business, and your community our top priority.

Contact us to learn more.