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OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations 2022

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its list of the most frequently cited safety standards violations for 2022. The annual list, based on worksite inspections, aims to alert employers and safety professionals about common violations to help prevent them.

Workplace injuries and illnesses can devastate employees and their families, but are also painful to a company’s bottom line. Lost productivity and medical, legal, and workers’ compensation expenses cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year. Add to that expense an OSHA citation, which can cost up to $145,027 per violation, it is easy to see how an effective safety and health program saves money.

Warehouse workers in hard hats and safety vests


1 Fall Protection–General Requirements – 5,260 citations

OSHA’s Fall Protection Standard remains at the top of the list for the twelfth year in a row. The standard outlines when and where fall protection is required and what safety systems and hazard controls must be used to prevent falls. (See OSHA Standard 1926.501 and DWC’s Fall Protection for the Construction Industry Workplace Program, English/Spanish.)

2 Hazard Communication – 2,424 citations

This standard requires companies to provide information about how to classify and label workplace chemicals. It also sets requirements on training employees, using safety data sheets (SDSs), and keeping a written workplace hazard communication plan. (See OSHA Standard 1910.1200; DWC’s Hazard Communication Fact Sheet, English/Spanish; and DWC’s SDS Safety Training Program, English/Spanish.)

3 Respiratory Protection – 2,185 citations

The Respiratory Protection Standard directs employers to keep a respiratory protection program if workers must wear respirators to protect themselves. It includes specific rules for employee training and respirator selection, fitting, cleaning, use, maintenance, and repair. (See OSHA Standard 1910.134 and related OSHA resources.)

4 Ladders – 2,143 citations

OSHA’s Stairways and Ladders Standard establishes requirements for the safe use of ladders, extension ladders, job-made wooden ladders, and step ladders. (See OSHA Standard 1926.1053 and DWC’s Ladder Safety 5-Minute Safety Training Aid, English/Spanish.)

5 Scaffolding – 2,058 citations

The Scaffolding Standard covers safety requirements for airlifts, suspended scaffolds, supported scaffolds, and others. Common hazards associated with scaffolds include falls from an elevation due to lack of fall protection; the collapse of the scaffold caused by instability or overloading; getting struck by falling tools, work materials, or debris; and electrocution due to scaffolds located too close to overhead power lines. (See OSHA Standard 1926.451 and DWC’s Scaffold Safety Checklist, English.)

6 Lockout/Tagout – 1,977 citations

The Lockout/Tagout Standard protects workers from amputations and other serious injuries that can arise from unexpected startups and cycling of a machine or the release of stored energy from a machine during servicing and maintenance. (See OSHA Standard 1910.147; DWC’s Lockout/Tagout Fact Sheet, English/Spanish; and DWC’s  Lockout/Tagout Workplace Program, English/Spanish.)

7 Powered Industrial Trucks – 1,749 citations

This standard provides general design information and construction standards for powered industrial trucks such as forklifts or lift trucks used to raise, lower, or remove large objects. It also requires employers to ensure truck operators are properly trained in operation and safety standards. (See OSHA Standard 1910.178; DWC’s Forklift Safety-Proper Load Handling 5-Minute Safety Training Aid, English/Spanish); and DWC’s Forklift Safety-Rules of the Road 5-Minute Safety Training Aid, English/Spanish.)

8 Fall Protection–Training Requirements – 1,556 citations

This differs from the Fall Protection Standard mentioned in #1, which relates to physical hazard controls and fall protection systems. This standard provides guidance on employee-required training and education to prevent falls. (See OSHA Standard 1926.503 and DWC’s Fall Protection for the Construction Industry Sample Written Program, English/Spanish.)

9 Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment–Eye and Face Protection – 1,401 citations

The Eye and Face Protection standard requires employers to provide eye and face protection to employees whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological, or mechanical irritants. (See OSHA Standard 1926.102 and DWC’s Personal Protective Equipment Workplace Program, English.)

10 Machine Guarding – 1,370 citations

The Machine Guarding Standard describes safeguards to protect employees from rotating parts, flying chips, sparks, and other hazards caused by machinery. (See OSHA Standard 1910.212 and DWC’s Machine Guarding Fact Sheet, English/Spanish.)

DWC offers free, confidential onsite or virtual consultation to help Texas businesses comply with OSHA regulations. For more information or to schedule an occupational health and safety consultant, contact or call 1-800-252-7031, option 2, today.


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Last updated: 5/24/2024