2016’s Top Cited OSHA Violations
When it comes to OSHA and its violations, not much changes statistically from year to year. Although the agency provides a variety of statistics in its annual report, the numbers are generally the same annually. Directors within the agency suggest that the best way for an employee or employer to look at the report is not to read it word for word, but to take it and apply it to their own workplace.
For example, one of the top cited infractions is Fall Protection. Could your workplace be cited for the same? Using the information that OSHA provides not only helps employers make the best safety decisions in their companies, but can help employees understand what could be presenting risk. Here are the top cited violations for 2016.
1. Fall Protection
If your job requires you to climb heights or walk along scaffolding, there should be protection in place to help prevent falls. If that protection is in place, you should be using it each time you are in the air. Falls from heights are one of the top causes of fatalities in industries like construction where workers are exposed to heights on a daily basis.
2. Respiratory Protection
Breathing anything into the lungs can be hazardous. Injury may not occur immediately, but repeated exposure could cause damage later in life. If you work in any type of industry in which you breath in dust, particles or chemicals, you should be supplied with respiratory protection by your employer.
3. Hazard Communication
If something happens on the job, to whom do you report? OSHA cited thousands of companies for not having hazard communication policies in place. While most people would report to a supervisor without giving it much thought, there still needs to be written protocol for the handling of emergency situations. There needs to not only be protocol, but training on how to follow company policy as well.
If you are required to work on scaffolding, there should be a guard rail in place. The scaffolding should be protected from falling if it is more than 10 feet above the next lowest level. There are a variety of safety standards that OSHA has set forth for the use of scaffolding in the workplace. There were 3,900 citations issued for scaffolding issues in 2016.
Employees who work with machines are to be trained on the general procedures for not only handling those machines, but how to deal with the release of hazardous energy. OSHA found that 3,406 companies were in violation of these safety standards.
You should not have to fear for your health and safety when you go to work. Knowing how to spot hazards and how to report them to your employer can mean the difference between going home at night and going to the hospital. If you are hurt at work in Charleston, reach out to our team of attorneys. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation, at which time we will advise you of your legal options.