The Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants workers to be safe. OSHA standards are established so that companies have safety guidelines. These will not prevent all accidents or all injuries, but they can help reduce the number faced each year.
However, violations are common. Some of these come to light after workers are injured. Other violations are noted and reported in advance, and then changes are needed to bring the workplace up to the expected level of safety.
It is important for companies and employees to know what these violations tend to look like. As of September of 2020, the most recent data indicates that these are the most common violations:
- Issues with construction industry fall protection
- Violations of the hazard communication standard
- Lack of or inadequate respiratory protection
- Violations of scaffolding safety and general requirements
- Issues with ladder use in the construction industry
- Lockout and tagout violations, also called control of hazardous energy
- Violations involving powered industrial trucks
- Lack of fall protection training to teach workers how to operate safely
- Lack of or inadequate eye and face protection
- Violations regarding machinery and machine guarding
Any one of these could be enough to cause a very serious workplace accident.
Why do they happen?
Violations happen for numerous reasons, but one of the most common is a desire to save time or to get a job done more quickly. For instance, a machine may be slower to use with the proper guards in place. Since no one ever gets hurt anyway, the employer may opt to remove the guards. This can work well for weeks, months or even years, but it just has to go wrong once for a worker to be injured or killed by that machine. The worker in question may not even know that there is an issue until the accident happens.
What should workers do after they get injured?
Getting badly injured on the job can change your life and your career. It can present your family with major financial hurdles, from medical bills to lost wages to the loss of the family’s main breadwinner. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you know what legal options you have.