OSHA's Top 10 Safety and Health Violations for 2018

By Jeremiah Wooten, Managing Partner at Inspectioneering. December 28, 2018

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Although the list rarely sees substantial changes, it is important for employers to recognize these common violations and implement the necessary procedures to protect their employees. By creating a culture of safety in the workplace, starting with these 10 most common violations, companies can significantly reduce the number of on-the-job injuries and fatalities that occur annually.

While this list has not changed much since 2017, it should be noted that #8 (Fall Protection Training Requirements) and #9 (Machine Guarding) have swapped spots on the 2018 list. Moreover, #10 on the list (Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection) is a new addition for fiscal year 2018, bumping Electrical Wiring Methods from the top 10. 

Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2018

  1. Fall Protection (7,720 violations in FY 2018; up 833 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.501 – violations generally involve failing to provide adequate fall protection systems to employees working at elevated heights.

  2. Hazard Communication (4,552 violations in FY 2018; down 100 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 – violations generally involve failure to properly classify hazards and communicate them to employees.

  3. Scaffolding (3,336 violations in FY 2018; down 361 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.451 – violations typically involve improper assembly of scaffolds, such a missing planking.

  4. Respiratory Protection (3,1128 violations in FY 2018; down 263 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 – violations are generally for employees using respirators not being medically evaluated or properly fit tested.

  5. Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) (2,944 violations in FY 2018; down 187 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 – violations include failing to have machine specific LOTO procedures, inadequate training on procedures, and failing to conduct periodic inspections of procedures.

  6. Ladders (2,812 violations in FY 2018; up 245 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1053 – violations typically involve defective ladders or the improper use of portable ladders.

  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (2,294 violations in FY 2018; down 55 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 – violations generally involve the unsafe use of a forklift.

  8. Fall Protection Training Requirements (1,982 violations in FY 2018; up 258 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.503 – violations typically include failure to train workers on identifying fall hazards and proper use of fall protection equipment.

  9. Machine Guarding (1,972 violations in FY 2018; down 137 from the previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.212 – violations are generally for failing to have machines and equipment adequately guarded.

  10. Personal Protective & Life Saving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection (1,536 violations in FY 2018; unranked in previous year)
    • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.102 – violations are generally for not having appropriate eye and face protection when exposed to eye and face hazards.


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