OSHA’s Top 10 Citations for 2023: Where are Forklifts on the List?

OSHA has released its top 10 list of the most frequently cited safety violations for the fiscal year 2023, as it does each year.

Forklift violations have made the list again in 2023, as they consistently do, and are ranked in 5th place.

Let’s have a quick look at the entire top 10 list, then go over some of the specifics relating to forklifts (Powered Industrial Trucks).

OSHA Forklift Training

Top 10 Violations for FY2023

1- Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): Dominating the list for the 13th consecutive year, this category saw 7,271 violations. It underscores the persistent challenge of ensuring proper safety measures for workers operating at heights.

2- Hazard Communication (1910.1200): With 3,213 violations, this standard focuses on the management of chemical hazards in the workplace. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a written hazard communication program, providing effective training on hazardous chemicals, and ensuring the availability and accessibility of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).

3 – Ladders (1926.1053): This category, with 2,978 violations, highlights the safety concerns around ladder usage. Key violations include improper extension of ladder side rails and using ladders for unintended purposes. The standard mandates that ladders must be safe, appropriately used, and free of structural defects.

4 – Scaffolding (1926.451): Recording 2,859 violations, this standard is crucial for construction workers. It mandates that scaffolding should be designed, constructed, and loaded according to safety guidelines to protect workers from falls and falling objects. The primary citations are related to training, which we’ll cover in more detail in a bit.

5 – Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): With 2,561 violations, this category emphasizes the safe operation of industrial trucks, like forklifts. The standard covers forklift training, pre-shift inspections, and safe operating environments.

6 – Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): Accounting for 2,554 violations, Lockout/Tagout procedures are vital for controlling hazardous energy during machine maintenance. It ensures the prevention of accidental machine activation, which can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

7 – Respiratory Protection (1910.134): This standard, with 2,481 violations, focuses on protecting workers from airborne contaminants. It involves selecting the appropriate respiratory protection and ensuring that it is used correctly.

8 – Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): This category saw 2,112 violations, emphasizing the need for adequate training in fall protection for workers operating at heights.

9 – Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): With 2,074 violations, this standard highlights the importance of protecting workers from eye and face hazards in the workplace.

10 – Machine Guarding (1910.212): This category, which includes 1,644 violations, underscores the critical need for proper guarding on machines to protect employees from hazards such as rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.

OSHA Forklift Violations

In the last few years, the top 5 forklift safety-related violations have been the same. Unsafe operation has been #1, followed by two training-related citations:

1) Failure to provide refresher training and;
2) Missing/inadequate forklift operator certification.

These have then been followed by failure to remove unsafe trucks from service and no per-operation inspection.

These violations serve as a reminder of the critical importance of adhering to forklift safety standards to prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment for your operators, pedestrians, and other employees who may be at risk.