As we’ve discussed in previous posts, unsafe working conditions are one of the leading causes of work-related injuries. Below is a list of OSHA’s 10 most frequently cited violations in 2012 as well as some information on why they are dangerous and how to prevent them.
Falling, from distances both high and low, can cause some of the most serious work-related injuries. To prevent on-the-job falls, OSHA recommends marking and protecting all holes in the floor, providing handrails and guardrails on raised platforms, and utilizing proper safety equipment such as safety nets and harnesses.
Hazard communication standards ensure that all employees safely handle, use, and store all hazardous chemicals. OSHA requires that all information about the identities and hazards of chemicals be made accessible and comprehendible for all employees. All employees are also to be trained on properly handling these chemicals.
Scaffolding injuries often occur when support becomes damaged, an employee trips, or an employee is hit by a falling object. Here OSHA outlines all of the requirements for safe scaffolding, including how the structures are to be built and how they can and cannot be used.
Respiratory safety is a factor for those that work around low-oxygen environments, dusts, sprays, mists, smokes, and gases. Non-compliance with OSHA’s respiratory standards can lead to lung impairment, diseases, cancer, or even death. Employees that work in such environments are required to wear respirators.
This includes mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, pneumatic, thermal, electrical, or other sources of energy in equipment that can be harmful to workers. Some injuries that can result from improper control of hazardous energy include burns, amputations, cuts, and many others. All places of employment that deal with hazardous energy sources should have proper lockout/tagout procedures. A lockout/tagout procedure carefully outlines the procedures of turning machinery on and off in the event of an emergency. Examples include someone’s shirt getting stuck on a conveyer belt or an employee getting shocked when working with electricity. This guide from OSHA provides information on how to properly implement and utilize a lockout/tagout procedure.
Powered Industrial Trucks, also known as forklifts, are mostly used to move heavy materials. Potential accidents include falling loads, bystanders being hit, and drivers falling out of industrial powered trucks. To avoid accidents such as this, employers must properly train all forklift drivers.
This covers any profession that works with electricity. Those that work with electricity can be exposed to electrocution, shock, explosions, and fires. Incidents such as these can be avoided by using proper protective equipment and proper training.
Falling from a ladder can cause neck, shoulder, back, and many other types of injuries. Make sure that the ladder you are using is in good condition and that you are not using it for anything other than what a ladder is supposed to be used for.
Machines can cause injuries such as crushed hands and fingers, amputations, blindness, and burns. Because of this, any machine part or function that may cause injury must be safeguarded. Also, workers must be properly trained to work with the specific type of machine they are using on the job.
This covers the proper installation of electrical equipment. Electric equipment is to be free from hazards that can cause death or serious harm to employees.
If your place of employment is in violation of any of these examples and you have been injured on the job as a result of your employer’s negligence, contact a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney right away.