The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its preliminary list of the top 10 workplace violations in Federal Fiscal Year 2014, which ended on September 30 of this year. OSHA cites employers for violating federal workplace safety rules after the violation is identified in an OSHA investigation. These investigations are frequently triggered by worker injury or by reports of problems because, although OSHA is supposed to routinely inspect workplaces, there are not a sufficient number of investigators to conduct regular periodic checks on all employers.
When a violation is identified, OSHA will generally fine an employer and/or may assist the employer in correcting the workplace health hazard. Hopefully, violations will be found before someone actually gets hurt. If a worker does get injured on the job, an Atlanta workers' compensation lawyer should be consulted for assistance in making a work injury claim for benefits.
Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014
The top 10 violations for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 include:
- Violations of fall protection requirements. There were 6,143 citations for violators who failed to provide adequate protection to keep workers from falling while doing their jobs at high elevations.
- Hazard communications. There were 5,11 violations of workplace safety rules regarding hazard communication.
- Scaffolding violations. A total of 4,029 violations were identified where employers failed to ensure that scaffolding was safe and in compliance with legal requirements.
- Respiratory protection. There were a goal of 3,223 violations of regulations related to protecting workers from breathing in chemicals, toxins or fumes.
- Lockout/ Tagout violations. A total of 2,704 citations were issued because employers failed to institute and enforce acceptable lockout/tagout procedures.
- Powered industrial trucks. There were 2,662 violations due to problems with this heavy equipment.
- Electrical or wiring methods. A goal of 2,490 violations occurred involving problems with electrical work.
- Ladders. There were 2,448 violations regarding ladder safety in the workplace.
- Machine guarding. There were a total of 2,200 citations issued because machine guards were not properly being used.
- General electrical requirements. There are a total of 2,056 violations because guidelines for safe use of electricity and electrical wiring were not followed. Unfortunately, every time a violation occurs, a worker is put at risk. Falls, amputations, electrocution, workplace illness and death are just some of the potential problems that could arise as a result of a failure to follow safety rules.
When a worker is hurt, it is important to realize that he is entitled to workers' compensation benefits even if there were no workplace safety violations. Workers' compensation laws ensure every injured employee gets benefits if he is made sick or hurt as a result of his work tasks. This means that even when an employer followed all OSHA rules and was careful, a worker still should report an injury or illness and seek coverage for medical bills and disability income. An Atlanta workers' compensation lawyer will assist in making a claim or in resolving disputes over work injury benefits.
The Atlanta work injury lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC offer free consultations to injured employees. Call today or contact us online to learn more.