New Jersey workers often face dangerous environments on the job, especially if their employers violate federal workplace safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed the federal agency’s top 10 safety violations uncovered during a year of inspections. The statistics were gathered from October 2017 through September 2018, yet the results often mirrored those of previous years.
For example, the first-place position was held by the same kind of safety violation that has occupied the top spot for several years: failure to provide fall protection. Employers have a responsibility to provide protective gear to workers operating at heights that could help to prevent falls or limit the damage in case of an incident. However, 7,270 violations were found in the past year; in most cases, employers failed to issue protective gear to employees working near unprotected edges or on rooftops. Other issues related to fall prevention were also prominent on the annual list. For example, the eighth place on the list noted that 1,982 violations were found for training issues related to fall protection. In some cases, employers failed to provide required training while in other cases, unqualified people delivered it.
Fall issues were also found elsewhere on the list: The third-place spot involved scaffolding violations. There were 3,336 workplace safety violations related to scaffolds, including a failure to provide personal fall arrest systems, failure to install guardrails or failure to support the scaffold with a solid foundation.
Falls at work can be devastating, leading to severe workplace injuries, permanent disabilities and even fatalities. Working at heights can be especially dangerous when employers flout the rules of workplace safety. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help injured workers protect their rights and seek the benefits they need.