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OSHA: Top 10 Safety Violations for 2018

Posted On March 22, 2019

Workers and employers need to be aware of the top 10 safety violations that were reported by OSHA in 2018 so they can take steps to improve safety at their workplaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues an average of 40,000 violations to companies every year. The agency is tasked with enforcing safety regulations that are aimed at increasing workplace safety and reducing accidents.

Employers who violate safety regulations may face penalties ranging from $7,000 for failing to post safety notices up to $500,000 for willful violations that result in deaths. The top 10 list demonstrates some of the areas in which the largest number of violations occurred. These types of violations result in a large number of workplace injuries.

Fall Protection

Topping the list were fall protection violations. In 2018, 7,270 citations were issued by OSHA in this category.

Hazard Communication

Hazard communication violations appeared in the second spot on OSHA’s list at 4,250 citations. This involves properly communicating hazard information when handling chemicals.


Scaffolding violations came in third on OSHA’s list with 3,336 violations. When scaffolding violations occur, workers have a greater risk of suffering from fall injuries or deaths.

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection violations came in fourth on OSHA’s list. In 2018, there were 3,118 citations issued by the agency.

Lockout/Tagout Violations

Lockout/Tagout violations came in fifth on OSHA’s list for 2018. The agency issued 2,994 violations. This includes violations of safety procedures when working with or around machinery.

Ladder Violations

Ladder violations came in at number six on OSHA’s 2018 list. Ladders are used in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and others. OSHA reports that there were 2,812 violations during the fiscal year.

Powered Industrial Truck Violations

Coming in at number seven on OSHA’s list, powered industrial truck violations accounted for 2,294 citations. These trucks are frequently used in warehouses and distribution centers.

Training Requirements for Fall Protection

OSHA reports that it issued 1,982 violations to companies for failing to meet the training requirements for fall protection, which placed this category at number eight on the list for 2018. When workers are not trained, they have a higher risk of falling.

Machine Guarding

Coming in at number nine were machine guarding violations. There were 1,972 violations in 2018.

Eye and Face Protection

Rounding out the top 10 were eye and face protection violations at 1,536.

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