Workers in New Jersey may face an array of dangers on the job, especially if they work on heights or in construction areas. This can be especially true when employers violate safety regulations. A deputy director of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, announced the agency’s top 10 workplace safety violations at the 2018 National Safety Council congress. The statistics, collected between October 2017 and September 2018, identified the safety regulations most frequently violated by employers across the country.
Many of the featured workplace safety issues have figured prominently year after year in the OSHA statistics. For example, the top issue repeated for the past several years was failure to provide fall protection. Employers have a duty to provide proper protective equipment to help workers on heights prevent falls or mitigate the consequences if one occurs. However, OSHA found 7,270 cases in which employers failed to provide this gear to employees working on unprotected edges or on rooftops. This was not the only issue related to fall protection. Failure to provide proper training on these issues was the eighth most common workplace safety violation during the year. Employers failed to train workers or did not ensure that the trainer was competent to do so.
In addition, workers on scaffolding faced dangerous safety violations. There were 3,336 citations related to scaffold issues, the third most common issue raised in the past year. Once again, employers failed to provide personal fall arrest systems or did not install guardrails on the scaffolds.
Falls on the job can be particularly catastrophic, leading to severe injuries, permanent disabilities and even fatalities. Workers may lose their ability to return to work. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help injured workers seek the benefits they deserve, especially if employer safety violations are to blame for the workplace accident.