OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2018 – Learning from our Mistakes

OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2018 – Learning from our Mistakes

We need to learn from our mistakes in order to not repeat them, but we can’t learn from them if we are not aware of them. So please take some time to review this year’s preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace violations and see which one’s apply to your workplace. Now is a great time to rethink your safety culture, open a discussion and start creating a new strategic safety plan for 2019.

“Knowing how workers are hurt can go a long way toward keeping them safe,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "The OSHA Top 10 list calls out areas that require increased vigilance to ensure everyone goes home safely each day."

Making sure everyone goes home safely each day should be the number one goal for every company and even though OSHA’s Top 10 list doesn’t cover every workplace hazard, it does serve as a great tool for safety professionals to identify the most common and costly violations for employers.

Please take a look at OSHA’s Top 10 which was presented by Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, as part of the 2018 NSC Congress & Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

While OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations vary little from year to year, violation No. 10 on this year’s list, “Eye and Face Protection” (1926.102), was not on the 2017 list, in fact it’s the first time it’s made the top 10.

The Top 10 for FY 2018* are:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) 7,270
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) 4,552
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) 3,336
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) 3,118
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) 2,944
  6. Ladders (1926.1053) 2,812
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) 2,294
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) 1,982
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) 1,972
  10. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102) 1,536

*Preliminary figures as of Oct. 1, 2018

The Top 10 violations accounted for an estimated total of 32,266 violations, based on preliminary data for FY 2018.

So, if safety alone isn’t enough motivation to rethink and reinvest in your safety culture then avoiding expensive violations should be.

OSHA Penalties – Below are the penalty amounts adjusted for inflation as of Jan. 2, 2018.

Type of ViolationPenalty


Posting Requirements
$12,934 per violation
Failure to Abate
$12,934 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated
$129,336 per violation

“How much you can learn when you fail determines how far you will go into achieving your goals.”

– Roy Bennett

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