Analyzing OSHA’s 2023 Violations: A 5-Year Trend Overview

Understanding trends in safety violations is crucial for companies aiming to enhance safety protocols and ensure compliance with OSHA regulations. We will analyze the top 5 violations and their five-year trends from 2019 to 2023, examining shifts, concerns, and notable spikes within each violation category, providing insights for targeted safety planning and training initiatives.

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) – 7,271 violations

OSHA - Fall Protection

Consistently at the Top: Fall protection violations have remained a major concern, with a notable increase in 2023 compared to previous years, suggesting the need for targeted safety measures and enhanced training programs. Falls are among the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, making  compliance with fall protection standards critical for safeguarding worker safety.

Course Recommendation: “Fall Protection – Construction Training” The safety course offers comprehensive training on fall prevention strategies, equipment usage, and hazard assessment techniques. By equipping workers with advanced knowledge and skills, it goes beyond the basic requirements of General Fall Protection training, empowering them to effectively prevent fall-related accidents.

2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 3,213 violations

OSHA - Hazard Communication

Noticeable Variations: Violations related to hazard communication have shown inconsistent patterns, indicating the importance of ongoing vigilance and proactive measures to maintain compliance. Failure to properly communicate workplace hazards can lead to accidents and injuries.

Course Recommendation: “Hazard Communication Training” This online course provides safety training on hazard communication standards, including hazard identification, labeling requirements, and SDS management, to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations.

3. Ladder Violations (1926.1053) – 2,978 violations

Stable Trend FoOSHA - Ladder Violationsllowed by a Distinct Surge: While ladder violations showed consistency until 2022, there was a notable increase in 2023, highlighting the importance of targeted interventions. Falls from ladders are a leading cause of workplace injuries, making ladder safety a critical focus area for training and compliance efforts.

Course Recommendation: “Ladder Safety Training” This course provides comprehensive training on ladder safety, including proper ladder selection, inspection procedures, and safe climbing techniques, to prevent ladder-related accidents in the workplace.

4. Scaffolding Violations (1926.451) – 2,859 violations

OSHA - Scaffolding Violations

Fluctuating Compliance Levels: Scaffolding violations have shown inconsistent patterns, underscoring the need for ongoing attention and efforts to ensure consistent safety and compliance. Improperly constructed or maintained scaffolds pose significant risks to workers, highlighting the importance of thorough training and adherence to safety standards.

Course Recommendation: “Scaffolding Safety Training” This training program covers essential scaffolding safety practices, including erection, inspection, and dismantling procedures, to ensure workers can safely use scaffolds in the workplace.

5. Powered Industrial Trucks Violations (1910.178) – 2,561 violations

Noticeable Variations: Violations related to powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts and pallet jacks, typically involve issues with operator training, equipment maintenance, and safe operating practices. During the Pandemic, there was a decline in Powered Industrial Trucks violations followed by a significant increase in 2023. These violations highlight the importance of comprehensive training and strict adherence to safety protocols when operating powered industrial trucks.

Course Recommendation: “Powered Industrial Trucks Training” This training program provides operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate powered industrial trucks, covering topics such as load handling, maneuvering, and hazard recognition.

6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 2,554 violations

OSHA - Lockout Tagout

Inconsistent Violation Levels: Lockout/tagout violations involve failures to properly control hazardous energy sources during servicing and maintenance of machinery, which can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. This violation category addresses the need for effective lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental energization of equipment. While there was a decline in violations post-2019, a reverse trend was observed in 2023.

Course Recommendation: “Lockout/Tagout Training” This course covers essential lockout/tagout procedures, including energy isolation, equipment de-energization, and tagout systems, to ensure the safety of workers performing maintenance or servicing tasks.

7. Respiratory Protection Violations (1910.134) – 12,481 violations

OSHA - Respiratory Protection Violations

Consistent Violation Levels: Violations associated with respiratory protection have remained relatively stable, emphasizing the need for sustained efforts in training and enforcement. Proper respiratory protection is essential for preventing exposure to harmful airborne contaminants and ensuring worker health and safety.

Course Recommendation: “Respiratory Protection Training” This safety training course covers the fundamentals of respiratory protection, including respirator selection, fit testing procedures, and maintenance requirements, to ensure workers are adequately protected from airborne hazards.

8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 2,112 violations

OSHA - Fall Protection - Training Requirements

Noticeable Variations: Fall protection training violations have exhibited noticeable fluctuations over the past five years, suggesting potential shifts in compliance efforts or industry practices. While violations decreased in 2020 and 2021, they surged in 2023, emphasizing the necessity for continued focus on training requirements. These violations occur when employers neglect to provide adequate training to employees exposed to fall hazards, underscoring the critical need for ensuring that workers receive comprehensive training on fall protection equipment usage, hazard recognition, and safe work practices.

Course Recommendation: “Fall Protection – Construction Training” This course offers comprehensive instruction on fall prevention strategies, equipment inspection, and rescue procedures, empowering workers to mitigate fall hazards and safeguard their well-being.

9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102) – 2,074 violations


Consistent Violation Levels: Violations concerning eye and face protection have shown relatively steady levels over the past five years, indicating persistent challenges in ensuring adequate PPE usage and compliance. Despite minor fluctuations, violations have consistently hovered within a similar range each year. These violations occur when employers fail to provide or ensure the use of suitable protective equipment, such as safety glasses or face shields, in environments where eye and face hazards are present. This highlights the critical importance of safeguarding workers from potential eye and face injuries through the correct utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Course Recommendation: “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” This training course on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) focuses on the critical elements of selecting, using, and maintaining protective gear for the eyes and face. Through in-depth instruction, it empowers workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to mitigate risks and ensure their safety in diverse hazardous work environments.

10. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,644 violations

OSHA - Machine Guarding

Fluctuating Violation Levels: Machine guarding violations have shown variability in their occurrence over the past five years, with fluctuating violation counts observed from 2019 to 2023. Although violations decreased in 2020, there was a subsequent increase in 2023, indicating potential lapses in machine-guarding practices or enforcement efforts. These violations arise when employers neglect to adequately safeguard machinery, exposing employees to hazardous moving parts. Proper machine guarding, including barriers, enclosures, and safety interlocks, is essential to prevent injuries such as amputation, crush, or entanglement.

Course Recommendation: “Machine Guarding Training” This training course educates workers on the principles of machine guarding, including hazard identification, guarding types, and inspection procedures, ensuring a safe working environment around machinery.

Moving Forward: Prioritizing Safety

The significant uptick in violations during 2023 prompts a critical reflection on safety trends. While increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies may contribute to this rise, it underscores the ongoing need for robust safety measures in the workplace.

At LBA University, we recognize the utmost importance of safety training in mitigating risks and fostering a culture of compliance. By investing in safety training programs, organizations can empower their workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to identify hazards, implement preventive measures, and ensure a safer working environment for all.

Let’s take proactive steps to address these trends head-on. How is your company prioritizing safety training in light of these challenges, and what strategies are you implementing to promote a culture of safety and compliance?

The information and rankings provided in this blog are based on the article “ OSHA Reveals Top 10 Citations List for 2023” published by the BCSP Board of Certified Safety Professionals. LBA University is not affiliated with BCSP.

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