OSHA Unveils 2017 Top 10 Violations – Fall Protection Still Tops List

In September, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2017.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 on the Expo floor as part of the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

Fall Protection remained No. 1 on the list that varies little year-to-year. In fact, the top 5 remained the same as last year — with Hazard Communication at No. 2; Scaffolding at 3; Respiratory Protection at 4; and Lockout/Tagout at 5.

  • Ladders moved up one spot from last year’s list to No. 6, with its 2,241 citations down by 15.1 percent year-over-year.
  • Powered Industrial Trucks moved down one spot to No. 7, which had 24.4 percent fewer citations.
  • Machine Guarding repeated at No. 8 despite a 21.1 percent drop in citations.
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements is new to the list at No. 9 with 1,523 citations.
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods repeated rounding out the list at No. 10, with its 1,405 citations down 17.5 percent year-over-year.
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New OSHA Violation Added to List This Year

While the rankings for OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations vary little from year to year, violation number nine “Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)” is new to the list this year. OSHA’s top 10 violations for FY 2017* are:

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)
Frequently violated requirements include unprotected edges and open sides in residential construction and failure to provide fall protection on low-slope roofs.
2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
Not having a hazard communication program topped the violations, followed by not having or not providing access to safety data sheets.

3. Scaffolding (1926.451)
Frequent violations include improper access to surfaces and lack of guardrails.

4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
Failure to establish a respiratory protection program topped these violations, followed by failure to provide medical evaluations.
5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
Frequent violations were inadequate worker training and inspections not completed.


6. Ladders (1926.1053)
Frequent violations include improper use of ladders, damaged ladders, and using the top step.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
Violations included inadequate worker training and refresher training.


8. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
Exposure to points of operation topped these violations.
9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
Common violations include failure to train workers in identifying fall hazards and proper use of fall protection equipment.
10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305)
Violations of this standard were found in most general industry sectors, including food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing.

*Preliminary figures as of Sept. 5, 2017

The final report on the Top 10 violations for 2017 will be published in the December edition of the Council’s Safety+Health magazine.