Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ranks the 10 most frequently cited standards following work site inspections. Workers experience avoidable injuries, illnesses and fatalities associated with the hazards the standards cover.
OSHA publishes its ranking so employers can become aware of repeatedly flagged standards. The aim is to help employers identify and correct hazards before they become a problem. See how your safety programs stand against these citations.
Top 10 OSHA citations
Fall protection maintained its top spot, with twice the number of citations as the runner-up, hazard communication. Respiratory protection fell from fourth to seventh place. Powered industrial trucks rose from seventh to fifth place.
The following are the top 10 OSHA standards cited in the fiscal year 2023, from October 2022 to September 2023:
|Safety and health topic
|What it covers
|Fall protection. Requires employers to provide fall protection systems to employees working at heights.
|Hazard communication. Requires employers to disclose and classify hazards of all chemicals produced or imported. Also requires employers to communicate information about the classified hazards to employees, and maintain a written hazard communication program and chemical inventory.
|Ladders. Regulates the types of ladders employers must provide to employees for the jobs they’re doing.
|General requirements. Regulates the types, materials, construction and uses of scaffolds, as well as fall protection and guards employers must provide for employees working on or around scaffolds.
|Powered industrial trucks
|Powered industrial trucks. Requires safety measures relating to the design, maintenance and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.
|The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). Sets minimum requirements for controlling hazardous energy when machines and equipment are being serviced or maintained. The lockout/tagout process prevents unexpected startups and releases of stored energy that could injure employees.
|Respiratory protection. Requires employers to control employees’ exposure to air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays or vapors.
|Training requirements. Requires employers to provide fall protection training to employees exposed to fall hazards. Minimally, employees should be able to recognize fall hazards in the workplace and follow procedures for minimizing those hazards.
|Personal protective equipment
|Eye and face protection. Requires employers to provide affected employees with proper eye and face protection. Personal protective equipment must protect against hazards like flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, and light radiation.
|General requirements for all machines. Requires employers to protect machine operators and other employees nearby from rotating parts, flying chips, sparks and other machine-related hazards.
Free on-site safety consultation
If you’re a smaller business looking for feedback about your safety programs, try OSHA’s free safety consultation program. It’s open to small businesses with 250 or fewer employees at a single location and fewer than 500 employees in the entire company.
An on-site consultation can help you identify and address hazards and establish or improve your safety and health programs. Consultants from state agencies or universities provide the services. The consultations are confidential and separate from OSHA enforcement.
Keeping up with OSHA standards can help you maintain a safe workplace and avoid regulatory mishaps. Employees are counting on you to help them make it through the workday safely!