What Are OSHA’s Top Safety Violations?

Employees deserve safe workplaces. In an effort to increase workplace safety, both the state and federal governments step in to enforce safety standards. The top regulator for workplace safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Here, we want to examine OSHA’s top safety violations because we think this list will give you a good idea of what to look out for in your workplace and areas where you may be able to help improve workplace safety.

What Are OSHA's Top Safety Violations?

What the Data Shows About OSHA Violations

When we look at information provided by the National Safety Council (NSC), we can see a complete list of the 10 most frequently cited safety violations handed down by OSHA during the latest fiscal year (2021).

  • Fall Protection – 5,295 violations
  • Respiratory Protection – 2,527
  • Ladders – 2,026
  • Scaffolding – 1,948
  • Hazard Communication – 1,947
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 1,698
  • Fall Protection – 1,666
  • Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection – 1,452
  • Powered Industrial Trucks – 1,420
  • Machine Guarding – 1,113

We do want to note that “fall protection” has topped OSHA’s safety violation list for 11 years in a row now. In a bit of good news, “hazard communication” moved from second place on the list down to fifth place in just a one-year time frame (from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2021).

“Throughout the pandemic, workplace safety has become more important than ever,” says Lorraine Martin, NSC president. “Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, the OSHA Top 10 list reminds us that we must continue to pinpoint areas where we can improve so we can better prioritize workplace safety in the future world of work.”

Workplace Injuries Are Largely Preventable

Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries or illnesses reported across the country during the latest year of data available. In general, we can look at safety violations and injuries that occur and determine that most workplace injuries are preventable, which is why OSHA and state safety regulators work so diligently to enforce job site safety standards.

Unfortunately, some of the most common injuries that occur in the workplace include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Lacerations
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Sprains or strains
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Spinal cord trauma

Working With an Attorney After a Work Injury

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an on-the-job injury in Oregon but are having trouble recovering compensation, you need to speak to a Portland workplace injury attorney immediately. A skilled workplace injury lawyer can step in and handle difficult employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers. An attorney will use their resources to fully investigate the cause of your workplace accident and handle all communication with other parties involved.

Under the workers’ compensation laws in Oregon, any person who sustains an on-the-job injury will likely be entitled to compensation for all their medical bills as well as a significant portion of their lost wages. Additionally, if the injury happened as a result of the negligence of a third party aside from the employer or a coworker, workers may be able to recover additional compensation through a civil personal injury lawsuit.