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What Are The 5 Most Frequent OSHA Violations?

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or “OSHA” is tasked with assuring safe and healthy working conditions for Americans by setting and enforcing standards for safety in the workplace. In addition, OSHA provides training, outreach, education and assistance to employers to help them maintain a safe working environment. 

So if someone is injured on the job, one of the first questions to ask is, were there any OSHA standards that were violated at the worksite that led to the accident? In this article, we take a look at the 5 most frequent OSHA violations in the workplace, and what you can do if you were injured on the job due to lax safety standards or an unsafe work environment.


Top 5 OSHA Violations

The last year that data is available for is 2020. Although many of the top causes for OSHA violations switched positions, the top 10 violations did not change from 2019 to 2020, indicating that these are long standing issues in workplace safety.

The top 5 OSHA violations for 2020 were:

      • #1: Lack of adequate fall protection
      • #2: Inadequate hazard communication standards
      • #3 Improper respiratory protection
      • #4: Scaffolding violations
      • #5: Ladders

In all, fall protection came in with well over 5,000 violations, with hazard protection coming in with close to 3,200 reports. 


How to Prevent OSHA Violations and Worker Injuries

Tragically, many serious injuries on the worksite are completely preventable, if the employer takes the proper precautions. Some things your employer should consider doing to prevent workplace injuries include:

      • Provide workers proper training, especially when handling heavy equipment or machinery.
      • Create a hazard communication plan.
      • Write and practice a safety plan for various worksite risks. 
      • Quickly remediate problems when they are reported
      • Keep accurate records


Fall Protection Remains One of the Most Significant Workplace Violations

Fall protection has remained at the top of the list when it comes to dangerous workplace violations for 11 years as of 2021. Falls are one of the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Yet the majority of workplace falls can be prevented. 

Employers are required by OSHA to provide fall protection at any elevation over 4 feet in general workplaces, 5 feet in shipyards, 6 feet in construction, and 8 feet in longshoring operations. Fall protection must also be provided when a worker is standing over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the distance from the machine.


What Can Be Done to Reduce Falls in the Workplace?

Employers are required by OSHA to:

      • Provide working conditions free of known dangers.
      • Keep floors in work areas clean and if at all possible, dry.
      • Train employees about job hazards.
      • Provide personal protective equipment to workers at no cost.


In addition, employers must:

      • Guard floor holes that workers could potentially walk into.
      • Provide guard rails around elevated platforms.
      • Provide necessary equipment such as safety harnesses or safety nets, for certain jobs.


How Common Are Workplace Injuries?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a worker is injured every 7 seconds in America. This adds up to 12,600 injuries a day, 4.6 million injuries a year and over 100 million production days lost to injury. 

Of the jobs responsible for the most serious workplace injuries, construction may be the deadliest. According to the OSHA, two construction workers die each day in the United States because of work-related injuries, and one in five workplace fatalities are construction-related.


When You Need An Experienced Workplace Attorney

If you or your loved one were injured on the job, regardless of whether or not an OSHA standard was violated, you should know that you have rights. If your employer was in violation of OSHA standards and you were injured because of their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, as well as damages from pain and suffering that the accident caused. A Pennsylvania work-related accident lawyer can help you fight for what you deserve.

Richard Hollawell has years of experience standing up for workers rights, and helping them to receive the compensation they need. Contact our office today by calling us at 1-800-681-3550 or use the contact form below to speak to us today.


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