Fall protection remains top safety violation

Workplace accidents and injuries in Pennsylvania are all too common. Falls remain one of most common workplace accidents in the state and throughout the country, with three of the top five workplace violations reported by OSHA involving accidents caused by working at dangerous heights.

The top workplace safety violations in 2012 were fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding protection, respiratory protecting and ladder safety standards, according to OSHA.

In 2012, already 20,441 safety violation citations have been attributed to these types of safety issues. The final top ten list of safety violations in 2012 will be published in the December issue of Safety + Health magazine.

Employers are responsible for adhering to workplace safety standards set in place by OSHA. As falls continue to be one of most common causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, it is important for workers to be aware of unsafe work areas.

OSHA currently requires employers to provide working conditions that are not dangerous, keep floors clean and dry, provide free personal protective equipment, and train workers about safety hazards in the workplace.

Employers can also take additional steps to prevent fall accidents and injuries, which include:

  • Placing guard rails and toe-boards around elevated openings and floor holes
  • Providing guard rails and toe-boards when workers may be at risk for falling into or onto machines or equipment
  • Providing safety harnesses, safety nets and stair railings for workers for at-risk job

Workers who have been injured due to safety violations or an unsafe work environment can file a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania. A workers’ compensation attorney can help injured workers throughout the claim process and ensure they receive proper compensation for their injuries.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Fall Protection, HazCom Top Violations in 2012,” Oct. 23, 2012