OSHA's Top 10 Safety Violations for 2018


Patrick Kapust, OSHA's deputy director, directorate of enforcement programs, announced the preliminary results for OSHA’s Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations for 2018 at the National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo on October 23rd in Houston, Texas. The announcement was made to a packed room of attendees who were eager to hear the areas in which employers in the U.S. have been failing when it comes to workplace safety.

Kapust emphasized that the data he delivered at the NSC Congress only included citations through Sept. 30, 2018, so the number of violations may change by the end of the year. He encouraged employers to use the list as a guide for what they should look at in their workplace. While many of the violation scenarios which collectively make up the list may not be applicable to any one facility, the Top 10 list can still be used to spur on targeted safety evaluations.

The list involves two primary factors; the current national safety climate by hazard category, and the attention that regulators may be giving to specific regulation. For stakeholders, both factors should be important enough to garner attention and action. If the list drives employers to evaluate and correct, then the weight of these two factors may be more academic and less practical.

The year-to-year rankings for OSHA’s most-cited violations don’t usually vary greatly, but there was a newcomer: No. 10 “Eye and Face Protection” (1926.102), a construction standard, appeared on the Top 10 Violations list for the first time. It replaced electrical wiring methods (29 CFR 1910.305) which took the #10 spot in 2017.

OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2018* are:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements

    Standard: 1926.501
    Number of Violations: 7,270

  2. Hazard Communication

    Standard: 1910.1200
    Number of Violations: 4,552

  3. Scaffolding

    Standard: 1926.451
    Number of Violations: 3,336

  4. Respiratory Protection

    Standard: 1910.134
    Number of Violations: 3,118

  5. Lockout/Tagout

    Standard: 1910.147
    Number of Violations: 2,944

  6. Ladders

    Standard: 1926.1053
    Number of Violations: 2,812

  7. Powered Industrial Trucks

    Standard: 1910.178
    Number of Violations: 2,294

  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements

    Standard: 1926.503
    Number of Violations: 1,982

  9. Machine Guarding

    Standard: 1910.212
    Number of Violations: 1,972

  10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection

    Standard: 1926.102
    Number of Violations: 1,536

* The list includes citations through Sept. 30, 2018.

Blog Author


Dan Engling
Staff Scientist | Project Manager, Health & Safety Services

Contact Dan at dengling@keramida.com.