Over the last several years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been attempting to move more employers to correct safety hazards and reduce the number of OSHA violations by better publicizing large fines and violations of less-common standards.
Along with this change, they altered how the collect data of safety violations, which they hope will provide better data to track and evaluate these violations. The goal is to improve workplace safety and reduce on-the-job injuries.
The OSHA Information System is the source for these numbers, but the Saftey+Health article noted they should be considered preliminary.
The top 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations for 2012
Fall Protection: 7,250 violations of this standard, designed to protect workers more than 6 feet of the ground.
Hazard Communication: 4,696 violations, and deals with communicating chemical hazard information to workers.
Scaffolding: 3,814 violations, governs scaffolding usage.
Respiratory Protection: 2,371 violations, standards govern the use of respiratory protection, including evaluating the need for respirators, worker training, selection and all other aspects of respirator use.
Ladders: 2,310: Ladder requirements and usage.
Machinery and Machine Guarding: 2,097 violations, involves protection of workers around machinery.
Powered Industrial Truck: 1,993 violations, relates to forklifts and motorized hand trucks.
Electrical-Wiring Methods: 1,774 violations, grounding of equipment, wiring and insulations. Includes the use of "flexible cords" such as extension cords.
Lockout/Tagout: 1,572 violations, relates to preventing the operation of hazardous energy during maintenance of equipment.
Electrical-General requirements: 1,332 violations, general safety requirements for electrical systems.
Source: Safety+Health, "Examining the Top 10," National Safety Council, October 1, 2012