If you thought OSHA’s significant increase in hiring more inspectors would result in even more workplace violations, you’re absolutely right. Every single one of the Top 10 categories of workplace safety violations for 2023 saw a dramatic increase in total numbers.
Eric Harbin, OSHA Region 6 administrator, presented preliminary data at the recent National Safety Council show in New Orleans, reflecting violations occurring from October 1, 2022, to September 29, 2023. (The results include only federal OSHA data; data collected from state OSHA agencies is not included.)
There were no new categories on the Top 10 list this year; all were repeat offenders, although the order in which they appear shifted slightly in a couple instances. Holding onto the top spot, for the 13th year in a row, is fall protection—general requirements. In fact, the incidence of falls from heights is so pervasive in workplaces (particularly construction sites) that there are two categories in the Top 10 devoted to fall protection violations: fall protection—training requirements came in at # 8 on the list. You can see the full list in the accompanying slideshow.
As Harbin noted, OSHA publicizes this list every year with the goal of helping employers determine what areas in their workplaces they should focus on to improve safety. Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done to protect workers from falling down on the job.