Every year, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) releases a list of the top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the preliminary top 10 list of OSHA’s most frequently cited standards for 2022 and what you can do to prevent them.
While the list is largely the same as 2021, one noticeable difference is that ladder violations have increased and scaffolding violations have decreased.
Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards for 2022 – Quick Overview
Here’s a quick overview of OSHA’s top 10 list and how it compares YOY:
- Fall Protection – General Requirements (5,260 violations) ↔️ 0
- Hazard Communication (2,424 violations) ↔️ 0
- Respiratory Protection (2,185 violations) ↔️ 0
- Ladders (2,143 violations) ⬆️ 1
- Scaffolding (2,058 violations) ⬇️ 1
- Lockout/Tagout (1,977 violations) ↔️ 0
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1,749 violations) ↔️ 0
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1,556 violations) ↔️ 0
- Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1,401 violations) ↔️ 0
- Machine Guarding (1,370 violations) ↔️ 0
Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards for 2022 – Prevention Tips
Here are the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations for FY 2022, with a brief description and prevention tips:
1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (5,260 violations)
Fall protection is at the top of the list again for 2022 with over 5,000 violations. This violation pertains to the protection of employees from falls at heights over six feet in construction industries.
Prevention tips include ensuring proper fall protection equipment is available and used, and identifying potential fall hazards before beginning work.
In our construction fall prevention guide, we recommend beginning with a safety audit of your workplace by reviewing past results and then comparing them to current industry best practices. You’ll then want to create a detailed safety plan to prepare for any potential dangers for that specific project.
You’ll also want to check that your employees have the right safety equipment, such as guardrails, netting, personal protective equipment (PPE), arrest systems for falls, appropriate ladders, and tool carriers. This will help reduce the need to reach too far.
Even if your team has all the right tools, it is crucial to ensure that they are properly trained and know when and how to use them correctly.
2. Hazard Communication (2,424 violations)
This violation pertains to the communication of hazards in the workplace. This includes labeling, training, and maintaining a written hazard communication program.
Prevention tips include ensuring proper labeling and safety data sheets for all hazardous chemicals, providing regular employee training on the use and handling of hazardous materials, and maintaining updated records of your hazard communication program.
It is also important to regularly review and update your program, as new chemicals may be introduced in the workplace.
3. Respiratory Protection (2,185 violations)
Respiratory protection violations deal with the use of respirators in hazardous environments. This includes the use of respiratory equipment to protect workers against harmful pollutants like dust, smoke, fog, gas, vapor, or chemicals.
Exposure to these contaminants has the potential to cause long-term health effects such as cancer, lung damage, disease, or even death so be sure your workplace has proper respiratory protection measures in place.
Prevention tips include providing employees with appropriate respiratory protection for their work environment, regularly fit testing and training employees on the proper use and maintenance of their equipment, and implementing a written respiratory protection program.
Always comply with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and it is also important to regularly review and update your program as new hazards may arise in the workplace or new respiratory protection equipment becomes available.
4. Ladders (2,143 violations)
This violation pertains to the safe use of ladders in the workplace and has jumped up one spot since 2021. Related to fall protection, this includes ensuring proper training, inspection, and maintenance of ladders.
Prevention tips include providing employees with appropriate ladders for their work tasks, regularly inspecting and maintaining ladders, and training employees on the proper use of ladders.
All ladders on the job site should be capable of supporting the loads without failure, and must comply with specific OSHA ladder regulations depending on the size of the load, type of ladder, and length of the climb.
We recommend downloading the NIOSH Ladder Safety app, which is an interactive tool for angle measuring, selection, inspection, proper use, and accessories.
5. Scaffolding (2,058 violations)
This violation pertains to the use of safe scaffolding in the workplace and has moved down one place on the list since 2021. Scaffolding is used on construction sites to provide temporary work platforms for employees.
Prevention tips include ensuring proper assembly of scaffolding, securing the structure against bumps and jostling, and implementing measures for fall protection.
Proper PPE such as hard hats, harnesses, steel-toed boots, filtration masks, and respirators should be worn when working on or near scaffolding depending on the nature of the job.
It is also very important to minimize the number of items stored on the scaffold. Only those tools and materials necessary for the current job should be kept on the scaffold to prevent overloading or risk of injury to passer-bys.
Daily inspection of the scaffolding by a competent person is also an OSHA requirement and must be documented, along with any corrective actions taken.
6. Lockout/Tagout (1,977 violations)
This violation pertains to the safe control of hazardous energy during maintenance and servicing operations. Injuries from hazardous energy can result in burns, electrocution, crushing, or fracturing body parts, so it is crucial to protect workers from hazardous energy releases.
Prevention tips include developing a written lockout/tagout (LOTO) program, training employees on the proper use of lockout/tagout procedures, and regularly inspecting equipment to ensure proper lockout/tagout procedures are being followed.
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Fact Sheet is a helpful resource to learn about the procedures necessary to disable equipment to prevent hazardous energy release.
It is also a requirement for employers to provide training to ensure that each worker knows, understands, and can follow the hazardous energy control procedures.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1,749 violations)
This violation pertains to the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts or lift trucks. These types of trucks and vehicles are typically used to move materials or raise and lower large objects.
Prevention tips include providing employees with appropriate powered industrial trucks for their work tasks, regularly inspecting and maintaining the vehicles, and training and certifying employees on the proper use of the vehicles.
Powered industrial truck operators must be properly trained and certified and it is against the law for uncertified employees to operate these vehicles.
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1,556 violations)
This violation pertains to ensuring employees are properly trained in fall protection practices. This includes training on the proper use of personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, safety nets, and other fall prevention measures.
Prevention tips include providing employees with appropriate fall protection equipment for their work tasks, regularly updating and reinforcing fall protection training, and ensuring employees have a clear understanding of fall hazards in their work environment.
9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1,401 violations)
This violation pertains to the proper selection, use, and maintenance of eye and face protection in the workplace. Eye-related injuries can cause temporary or permanent vision loss and can occur from flying objects, chemical splashes, or exposure to radiation.
Prevention tips include regularly inspecting eye and face protection equipment, providing employees with appropriate equipment for their work tasks, and training employees on the proper use and care of their personal protective equipment.
Eye and face protection must also meet the following minimum requirements:
- Must provide adequate protection against potential hazards
- Must fit comfortably and snugly
- Must be durable
- Must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected
10. Machine Guarding (1,370 violations)
This violation pertains to ensuring machines in the workplace have appropriate guards in place to protect employees from hazards such as flying debris or contact with moving parts. Moving machinery has the potential to cause injuries such as cuts, fractures, crushing, or amputation.
Prevention tips include providing employees with appropriate machine guards for their work tasks, regularly inspecting and maintaining the guards, and training employees on the proper use of the guards.
Safeguards should always be used to prevent injury to the operator or anyone that comes into accidental contact with the machine.
Conclusion: Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations for 2022
Staying up to date on OSHA regulations and implementing proper safeguards can help prevent these violations and keep employees safe in the workplace.
It is important to regularly review and update safety procedures, provide appropriate equipment and training for employees, and conduct inspections to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations.
By taking these steps, employers can avoid citations and ensure a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.