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Safety Check OSHAs Top Safety Violations For 2023

Safety Check OSHAs Top Safety Violations For 2023

Jan 17 2024 at 13:07

Every year, it has become a tradition for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to publish its topmost frequently cited workplace safety violations. This list is highly anticipated among many organisations, not just in the United States, where the organisation is based, but also for those from other nations. The reason is that it offers invaluable insights into trends in workplace safety and health risks across industries and gives employers clues as to where to focus their efforts in improving worker safety and compliance. Below is the complete list of OSHA's top 10 safety violations for 2023 and tips to prevent them.


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

Like in 2022, fall protection remains at the top of the list, with a considerable increase from last year's 5,260 violations. This noncompliance generally refers to employee protection from falls at heights over 6 feet in the construction sector. Besides the availability and proper usage of PPE, identifying fall hazards before starting work is the only other requirement to avoid violating this standard.

Employers can go beyond to ensure they do not incur this common violation by regularly conducting safety audits on their workplace. Moreover, they can review the past audit results and see how they compare to the industry's current best practices. The findings can then be used to create a comprehensive safety plan in preparation for potential dangers moving forward.


2. Hazard Communication (3,213 violations)

This pertains to communication practices regarding hazards in the job site and mainly covers training,  labelling, and maintaining a hazard communication programme. The key steps to avoid this violation are:

  • Have safety data sheets and proper labelling for all hazardous materials.
  • Perform regular employee training on the usage and handling of hazardous materials.
  • Maintain up-to-date records of the hazard communication programme.
  • Regular reviews and updates on the programme when new chemicals are used in the workplace.


3. Ladders (2,978 violations)

As you may have guessed, this standard violation (which is related to fall protection) refers to the safe use of ladders, including proper training, inspection, and maintenance of ladder equipment. Regular inspection and upkeep, provision of ladders in good working condition, and proper employee training on the use of ladders are key to steering clear of this simple standard. Using the NIOSH Ladder Safety App is a convenient way to determine which ladder is best suited for a particular job and load without the risk of failure.


4. Scaffolding (2,859 violations)

Safe scaffolding in the workplace is the fourth violation that stems from many causes, including improper or inadequate assembly of scaffolding, strengthening of the structure against jostling and bumps, and fall protection measures. PPE plays a huge role in the construction industry – depending on the nature of the job, employees may need to wear proper PPE when working near or directly on the scaffolding. Storage of tools and materials should be limited to those absolutely necessary to avoid overloading, and daily inspection of the structure must be implemented as per OSHA requirements.


5. Powered Industrial Trucks  (2,561 violations)

Powered industrial trucks, such as lift trucks and forklifts, can pose a serious risk when in the hands of employees with insufficient training or if they are not well-maintained and ill-suited for a given task. As such, only certified employees should not only be delegated with operating these assets but also provided with the appropriate truck for the job, as no amount of training will suffice if the latter requirement is not met.


6. Lockout/Tagout (2,554 violations)

The lockout/tagout (LOTO) violation involves safely controlling hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance procedures, or specifically the lack thereof. The incidents that could result from such hazardous energy may lead to burns, fracturing of body parts, crushing, and electrocution, hence the need to protect employees from potential energy releases. Employee training on hazardous energy control procedures and regular inspections are a given when it comes to preventive measures, but developing a written LOTO programme should also be considered if it is not yet available.


7. Respiratory Protection (2,481 violations)

Respiratory protection deals with the usage of respiratory equipment in hazardous environments where pollutants like gas, dust, chemicals, and vapours may be present and pose short and long-term health risks upon exposure. Preventing this violation is straightforward enough and simply requires addressing the possible causes, be it inappropriate or lacking respiratory protection, insufficient fit testing and employee training, or lack of a written respiratory protection programme. Once implemented, regularly reviewing and updating this programme is essential as new hazards are classified or improved respiratory PPE becomes available.


8. Fall Protection — Training Requirements (2,112 violations)

Apart from the general requirements, the fall protection standard also has training requisites that ensure employees are well-trained in fall protection practices, including the proper use of personal fall arrest systems, safety nets, guardrails, and other related prevention measures. A good tip to avoid further noncompliance is to ensure employees clearly understand the fall hazards in their work and the consequences of not retaining or reinforcing their fall protection training. Employers should also stay on top of regularly conducting and updating their fall protection training programme and keeping all PPE equipment in good working order.


9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment — Eye and Face Protection (2,074 violations)

This violation pertains to the improper selection, use, and maintenance of eye and face PPE, which brings the risk of employees suffering temporary or permanent loss of vision due to eye-related injuries. Regular inspections of eye and face PPE, appropriate provisioning of said PPE for a given job, and addressing gaps in training are all necessary to avoid this violation again in the future. Beyond that, the eye and face protection equipment used should also meet the following requirements:

  • Rated for the potential hazards present in the workplace.
  • Features a comfortable and snug fit.
  • Highly durable.
  • It can be easily cleaned and disinfected.


10 Machine Guarding (1,644 violations)

This violation refers to ensuring all machinery in the workplace has all the necessary guards in place to safeguard employees from encountering moving parts, flying debris, and other such hazards. Key preventive measures range from simple changes, such as inspecting if each employee has the proper machine guards on before work, to more considerable steps like further training on the proper use of the guards.



Staying updated on OSHA regulations and implementing the best and latest safety measures is key to keeping employees safe at all times. Hopefully, the contents above shed light on areas for improvement within your organisation if it has ever experienced any of the violations discussed.

If you want to fill any training gaps within your safety programme, Wong Fang Academy (WFA) provides current and relevant courses that upskill your workforce and keep them abreast with the best practices in workplace safety. From occupational first aid certification to rigger & signalman courses in Singapore, WFA has no lack of high-quality training courses designed to improve your workplace safety. For more information on our courses, don't hesitate to contact us today.