When Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, it created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA. This small yet vital government agency has just 2,100 inspectors, but is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of approximately 130 million workers at more than eight million workplaces across the country.
From its 10 regional offices and 85 local offices, OSHA conducts inspections and enforces federal safety standards, in addition to providing valuable training and education.
Each year, OSHA releases a list of the top 10 most cited safety violations for the previous fiscal year. In fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018), the most common standards violations were:
- Fall protection. Employers are required to provide adequate fall protection systems for employees working on projects above certain heights.
- Hazard communications. Workers must be able to recognize hazardous chemicals and their risks, and have the necessary training to handle them safely.
- Scaffolding. OSHA's general scaffolding requirements detail crucial basics, such as proper construction and how much weight each component should be able to support.
- Respiratory protection. Employers must provide personal protective equipment to employees working in conditions where they could inhale harmful fumes, gasses, dust, or vapors.
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). Electrical, hydraulic, and other energy sources must be secured before machines and equipment are serviced to prevent serious injury.
- Ladders. All ladders used on the job must comply with OSHA safety standards, and employers must provide fall protection gear to workers if the ladders exceed a specified height.
- Powered industrial trucks. Regulations cover the design, maintenance, use, and fire protection for tractors, forklifts, and other specialty vehicles.
- Fall protection training requirements. Employers are required to provide specialized training for workers whose jobs may expose them to falls.
- Machinery and machine guarding. Machines with moving parts can cause serious injuries, which is why OSHA regulations require safeguards.
- Eye and face protection. Employers must ensure that employees use appropriate face and eye protective gear when working with hazardous materials.
Consult Us About Your Workplace Injury Case
If you were hurt while performing duties within the scope of your employment, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits—regardless of whether an OSHA violation led to your on-the-job accident and injury. Workers' compensation benefits may include medical treatment and wage replacement payments. Contact Van Sant Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a member of our legal team who can help you understand your rights as an injured worker in Georgia.