Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Falls top OSHA's list of workplace dangers

Like most people in Pennsylvania, you want to feel safe while you are at work. You should be able to expect that your employer is implementing all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and your co-workers' safety, but you might be surprised to learn this is not the case. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, violations leading to injuries -- particularly falls -- are still widespread.

You might feel protected because your boss provided you with safety equipment, but were you properly trained on its use? Many OSHA violations and subsequent injuries not only stem from a complete lack of necessary protections, but also from insufficient or nonexistent training.

Do you know how to prevent a fall?

It is your employer's responsibility to assess the dangers of your workplace, implement safety protocols and provide proper training and equipment to employees. This is especially important if you work at significant heights or with dangerous equipment. According to OSHA, employers are shirking this duty.

In 2017, OSHA issued 1,724 citations to employers who failed to provide training related to fall safety. Most of the violations occurred in industries related to residential remodeling, framing and roofing. These citations are just one component of a much larger group that makes up the number one spot on OSHA's 2017 list of top 10 safety violations -- fall protection.

OSHA's most cited violations

Is working at significant heights not part of your job? According to OSHA, you could still be in danger. Failure to develop or implement a hazard communication plan was the second most common safety violation from 2017. If you work with potentially dangerous substances, your place of work should have one of these plans in place. If not, they are violating OSHA standards.

Safety violations can happen to any worker in any industry, but many of the most cited violations seem to fall within manufacturing and construction industries. As one of these workers, you probably understand these dangers more than anyone else. Some of the other violations on the top 10 list related to the following:

  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Ladders
  • Electrical wiring

You deserve help

Safety standards are there for a reason -- to protect you. If your employer fails to develop, implement or provide training on safety protocols and equipment, you could be at serious risk for an injury. If you already suffered an injury, you need help.

Time spent away from work usually means that you are not collecting a paycheck, which can quickly complicate your financial situation. In Pennsylvania, workers' compensation benefits can address the financial side of your injuries, including lost wages and medical bills, as you focus on what is most important: your recovery.

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