Even though fiscal year 2021 required remote inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration still found plenty of workplace safety violations. These violations are all too common.
Recently, the federal agency announced, through the National Safety Council, the Top 10 workplace safety violations for the year. Unfortunately, these common violations clustered around the dangers of construction and industrial workplaces. That is unfortunate because these hazards are serious and can lead to severe injury or even death.
OSHA says that the best three ways to reduce the risk of workplace accidents are 1) employers performing job hazard analyses, 2) employees reporting unsafe conditions and 3) employee training.
This list may help employees recognize the hazards on their jobs and put employers on notice that they need to take action. Here are the Top 10 OSHA violations:
- Machine guard violations – removing safety guards and improper guarding
- Unsafe operation of powered industrial trucks like forklifts and motorized hand trucks
- Failure to provide proper eye and face protection
- Failure to train on fall protection or providing faulty training
- Lockout/tagout violations, which ensures machines are fully off and unplugged before maintenance
- Lack of hazard communication, such as lacking a written hazard communication program
- Scaffolding violations such as inadequate decking and lack of safety guardrails
- Ladder safety violations, ranging from allowing workers to stand on the top step to using ladders for purposes they are not designed for
- Failure to provide proper respiratory protection, including failure to perform required fit testing
- Fall protection violations, especially in construction, such as failing to provide protection near sides or on steep roofs or failing to recognize fall hazards
If you have been injured due to a workplace safety violation, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability Insurance
It’s important to understand that workers’ compensation, which covers work-related injuries, and the OSHA inspection process are completely separate. You do not have to show a workplace health or safety violation in order to qualify for workers’ comp. This is because fault is generally not an issue in workers’ comp claims – you are eligible as long as your injury was work-related.
The same is true for people who suffer disabling injuries that are expected to last for a year or longer. People in this position are often eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), regardless of whether their employer was cited.