Safety and OSHA News

OSHA’s Top 10 violations for 2013

OSHA may have a reduced staff during the government shutdown, but it will be back, eventually. And when it is, these are the top areas where its inspectors will be looking for hazards.

The agency announced its top 10 violations for 2013 at the National Safety Council’s 2013 Congress and Expo in Chicago. (Or, we should say, an editor from the NSC’s publication, Safety + Health, presented the list, as the representative from OSHA wasn’t able to make it because of the government shutdown.)

The preliminary number of violations of each of the top 10 most cited standards for FY 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013) are:

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501): 8,241
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 6,156 (Remember, new training for employees on hazard communication is required by OSHA by Dec. 1, 2013.)
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451): 5,423
  4. Respiratory protection (1910.134) 3,879
  5. Electrical, wiring methods (1910.305) 3,452
  6. Powered industrial trucks (1910.178) 3,340
  7. Ladders (1926.1053) 3,311
  8. Lockout/tagout (1910.147) 3,254
  9. Electrical, general requirements (1910.303) 2,745, and
  10. Machine guarding (1910.212) 2,701.

As is usually the case, the list didn’t change much from 2012. In fact, the same 10 standards made up the top 10 in 2012 — the order was just slightly different. The top 4 were exactly the same. Ladders fell two places from No. 5 to No. 7. Electrical wiring methods moved up three spots from No. 8 to No. 5.

OSHA was also scheduled to give an overview of all of its activities at the NSC Congress, but that session was also cancelled due to the government shutdown. The overview usually includes an enforcement recap with number including:

  • total number of violations issued in the last year
  • average penalties paid by companies, and
  • percentage of inspections in which no problems were found.

Looks like we’ll have to wait until the shutdown is over to get those numbers this year.

Print Friendly

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest safety news and insights delivered to your inbox.


  1. There was no significant increase in violations from last year. In mid-year 2013, OSHA changed it’s enforcement database from IMIS to a new system OIS, or OSHA Information System. At that time OSHA revised all of there violations numbers for 2012. Therefore, the comparisons used in the article between 2012 and 2013 are incorrect because they don’t reflect OSHA’s revised numbers for 2012.

    Contact the OSHA Directorate of Information Technology, Office of Management Data Systems when they open up again to verify this information. They compile OSHA’s enforcement databases.

    For example, you will find that OSHA revised the number of hazard communication violations last year (2012) to 6,510 in the new OIS system and not the 4,696 number from the old IMIS system.
    In this case, the hazard communication violation numbers for 2013 decreased from the violation numbers for 2012.

    Also note that OSHA updates the violation numbers upwards throughout the year as new violations come in, so make sure comparisons are done for the same 12-month period.

  2. I’d be curious to compare the list of OSHA’s top violations vs. top types of incidents and see what the correlation is, if any. Is any individual or organization out there doing this on a consistent basis?

Speak Your Mind