OSHA’s Annual Report
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its annual report on the top ten safety violations most frequently cited in the workplace. The report highlights how all too often, workplaces are in violation of fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout procedures, powered industrial trucks, ladders, electrical and wiring methods, machine guarding and the general electrical requirements. These illegal safety violations often contribute to serious workplace injuries and fatalities.
All of these common safety citations are well-known workplace hazards. Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the workplace, and powered industrial trucks such as forklifts cause numerous injuries and deaths. Every day, at least 13 people die while they are in the scope of their employment and in 2015 alone, nearly 5,000 lost their lives. The construction industry proves to be particularly dangerous for workers, with many workplace injuries and deaths taking place there.
Along with falls, other common causes of workplace injuries and deaths are electrocutions, getting hit by an object and getting caught “in-between” equipment. This is why safety procedures are so important; when the nature of a job is already dangerous because of heavy lifting, large loads and/or machinery, safety regulations can end up protecting lives. Injuries and fatalities caused by electrocutions would decrease if more workplaces abided by OSHA’s general electrical requirements, and if the rate of all other safety violations slowed.
OSHA’s report is meant to help employers become more familiar with providing adequate protection for employees as well as to warn that when a worker’s safety is being violated, the agency will investigate and implement financial fines. Too often can a safety violation end up taking a life. To further help promote workplace safety, OSHA, along with nearly 90 other associations, is launching a weeklong campaign between June 8th and 12th, called “Safe + Sound Week”.
The campaign is an important one – numbers show that more than four million workers experience a workplace injury or illness annually. One of the main aims is to get employers directly involved and committed to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.
Workers are legally entitled to a safe workplace that is free from any known hazards and is compliant with OSHA’s standards. Many workplaces fail to protect their workers from toxic chemicals or providing respiratory equipment, others do not properly train their employees or guard machinery. All of these illegal work practices can culminate in an employee becoming seriously injured or dying on the job.
OSHA compiles its comprehensive report on safety violations every year to further its mission for protecting workers and ensuring a safe workplace for everyone. Sometimes an employer may make a mistake and be unaware of a workplace hazard; sometimes employers cut corners and provide substandard safety policies that leave workers in harms way so they can save money.
When a workplace is unsafe or failing to comply with federal safety regulations, workers can file safety and health complaints through OSHA. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against any employee who files a complaint through the agency; this is to ensure that workers can voice their safety concerns without fear of job retribution. If you are worried about your workplace and would like more information, please click here.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Pursue Benefits for Injured Workers
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our offices. Our personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia are happy to answer your questions and review your case for free. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or submit an inquiry online at www.galfandberger.com.