top of page
  • Heather Cummings

2010’s Top 10 OSHA Violations

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Last month OSHA announced its top 10 most-cited violations for the 2010 fiscal year. The number one violation, for the second year in a row, was scaffolding; however, all ten violations were all too common last year.

OSHA’s directorate of enforcement programs explained that nearly 49 percent of all violations in 2010 were from the top 10 list. While the list is similar to previous years, many of the incident numbers have decreased.

This year scaffolding accounted for 8,371 violations, while the second most-cited violation of this year, fall protection, accounted for 7,559 violations. OSHA requires that any employee who is 4-feet or more from the ground requires protection (this number varies slightly in maritime and construction settings); however, this is ignored far too often.

Hazardous communication rounded out the top-three for the second year in a row, and accounted for 6,633 total violations. OSHA requires that all chemical manufacturers and importers evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers, and while this has previously led the violation list, not enough is being done to ensure clear and safe communication.

The number four spot had significantly fewer violations than the top-three. Respiratory Protection came in fourth place with 3,932 violations in 2010. OSHA estimated that five million workers need respirators to protect them from harmful dusts, smoke, gases, vapors, and other chemicals that may cause cancer, lung impairment, and other diseases.

The rest of OSHA’s 2010 list is as follows:

5. Ladders – 3,820 violations 6. Lockout/Tagout – 3,531 violations 7. Electrical – Wiring Methods – 3,381 violations 8. Powered Industrial Trucks – 3,224 violations 9. Electrical General – 2,770 violations 10. Machine Guarding – 2,556 violations

For more information on how your organization can prevent OSHA violations contact Tom Petersen at 215-881-9401 or at



bottom of page