Unfortunately, Virginia workplaces can all too often be hazardous for workers. In a recent presentation to the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented a list of the top 10 safety violations that endanger workers on the job. A number of these most frequently cited violations rise to the top of the list year after year. This includes the No. 1 spot: inadequate fall protection.
Employers are responsible for providing suitable equipment to protect workers in case of a fall when working at heights, near unprotected edges or on sloping or steep roofs. However, 7,270 violations were issued this year for failing to do so. Similarly, the No. 10 spot on the list was held by a failure to provide safety equipment. Just over 1,530 employers were cited for failing to provide eye and face protection to workers dealing with flying objects, caustic gases or other dangerous substances.
The lack of fall protective equipment was not the only issue related to falls. Nearly 2,000 employers failed to provide proper training on fall protection, including neglecting to train workers on how to use protective equipment. Scaffold and ladder violations sat at No. 3 and 6 on the list. These are caused by employers providing workers with broken equipment, inadequate foundations for scaffolding or other unsafe climbing materials.
When workers are injured on the job, the consequences can be severe. They can face lifelong disabilities and be forced to leave the workforce. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help an injured worker pursue compensation for their damages.