Workers in New Jersey may confront an array of hazardous conditions in the workplace, especially when employers fail to abide by federal safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) official presented a top 10 list of the violations most frequently cited by the agency in the past year. The statistics were collected between October 2017 and September 2018; for the most part, they reflected continuing concerns about unsafe environments that put workers at risk.
For example, the number one citation this year has also led the pack for the past several years: failing to provide fall protection. Employers have a duty to provide proper protective gear to employees working at heights near open sides. This gear could prevent falls from happening or reduce their danger in case of an incident. However, OSHA found 7,270 violations in the past year, mostly when employers failed to provide correct equipment to workers on roofs or near unprotected edges. This was not the only issue related to fall protection. The eighth most common workplace safety violation referred to employers failing to train their employees on protecting themselves from falls. There were 1,982 violations of the regulation throughout the year, with employers failing to provide training at all or using incompetent trainers.
Fall safety also came up in the third-place citation, scaffolding problems. The agency found 3,336 violations throughout the year that could put workers at risk, including failing to properly support scaffolding on a solid foundation and failing to provide workers with personal fall arrest systems or even install guardrails.
Workers who are hurt in a fall on the job could face severe injuries, permanent disabilities or even death. Injured workers might opt to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer about how they can protect their rights and seek compensation for their damages.