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OSHA announces most common safety violations

Workers in North Carolina workplaces far too frequently face unsafe conditions that could pose a serious risk to their well-being. As part of the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration presented the 10 most common workplace safety violations that the agency encountered during the 2018 fiscal year, highlighting particular areas of concern.

The most common safety violation cited by OSHA was a failure to provide fall protection. With 7,270 violations during the year, it was the most cited issue, as it has been for the previous few years. Workers near unprotected edges, steep roofs or open sides were not provided with protective equipment that could save their lives in the event of a fall. Construction contractors were most frequently found responsible for these violations. Another issue that was common among such contractors was related to scaffolding. OSHA issued 3,336 violations for scaffolding problems, including a failure to provide fall arrest systems or guardrails. Ladder problems were also quite frequent, landing in the sixth-place spot. These violations included ladders with broken steps and rails or ladders used for unintended purposes.

In other cases, workers were not informed of hazards on the job. The second most common source of OSHA violations was hazard communication failures, including failing to produce a written safety program or inadequately training workers. Elsewhere, workers were not provided with needed respiratory protection, especially at auto body shops and painting contractors.

When people are injured on the job, they could face severe consequences that prevent them from returning to work. They might want to have a lawyer's help when preparing their claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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