Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

OSHA releases list of top 10 fiscal 2017 violations

Connecticut employers should know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released its annual list of the top 10 workplace safety violations. This one covers the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2017. The violations are, for the most part, the same as in previous years, but some are new to the list and may require much critical thinking on the part of businesses.

Topping the list are violations of fall protection safety requirements. For example, work areas that are elevated a certain number of feet from the ground must be provided with protection equipment like rails and safety nets, and workers may be required to wear safety harnesses and lines. Failure to follow these and other instructions led to over 6,000 citations.

Further violations involved poor hazard communication, failure to set up scaffolds, inadequate respiratory protection, and failure to lock and tag hazardous energy sources. Fall protection training violations were a new addition to the list, with 1,523 violations handed out because employers did not train employees on how to identify and reduce fall hazards or how to use and maintain fall protection equipment. These difficulties may have emerged due to OSHA's Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection rule, which provided new training requirements and, with it, a relatively tight May 17, 2017 compliance deadline.

Unfortunately, despite all safety precautions, workplace accidents continue to take place. People who are injured on the job might want to meet with an attorney to see if they are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits and the process that is required in order to file a claim.

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