One out of every five workers killed on the job is in the construction industry, reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The construction industry had 899 fatalities in 2014; adherence to OSHA safety standards might have prevented many of those deaths. The following are the 10 most common OSHA violations for workplace safety and the impact they can have on a workers’ compensation claim.
The Top Three OSHA Violations in the Construction Industry
Three common violations cause or contribute to many of the construction industry’s accidents or fatalities:
Ladder safety goes hand-in-hand with fall protection, the lack of which is a largest component in falls — one the of the “fatal four” construction deaths.
Ladder violations were the seventh most common OSHA violation overall around the U.S in 2015. Use of the wrong type of ladder and failure to provide personal fall arrest systems are two common causes of ladder-related injuries.
More than 39 percent of all construction deaths in 2014 were due to falls, so it is no surprise that the third most common OSHA violation is improper construction and use of scaffolding.
Violations can include using the wrong type of scaffolding, improperly securing scaffolding, and bearing too much weight on the platforms.
The number one violation of OSHA regulations is a failure to provide fall protection. From a lack of personal fall arrest systems to improperly secured tools, ladders, and scaffolding, these factors add up to hundreds of deaths annually. Falls are the number one fatal accident among construction workers by a significant margin.
Other Construction Site OSHA Violations
While the violations above are specific to construction sites, the following general industry violations also cause numerous injuries and fatalities on construction sites each year:
- Hazard Communication Standard: The second most common OSHA violation is a failure to provide information about the “identities and hazards of the chemicals” present in the workplace.
- Failure to Use or Provide Respiratory Protection: This violation was fourth overall on worksites across the U.S. Because construction sites can expose workers to toxic chemicals, excessive dust, and hazardous airborne substances like asbestos, a lack of respiratory protection can lead to fatal diseases.
- Violations of control of hazardous energy. Fifth across the nation, a violations of control of hazardous energy can lead to burns, electrocutions, lacerations, fractures, and more. Hazardous energy includes electrical, pneumatic, thermal, hydraulic, chemical, and other sources that power construction work.
- Misuse of powered industrial trucks or forklifts/lift trucks: These violations can lead trucks to tip over if improperly loaded, fall off loading docks, or strike bystanders.
- Use of incorrect electrical wiring methods, components, and equipment: These violations led to 74 deaths (8 percent of construction deaths) in 2014.
- Failure to use machinery and machine guarding properly: A failure to use machinery or machine guards correctly can lead to lacerations, amputations, and death.
- Improper design of electrical systems: Using an incorrectly designed electrical system can lead to electrocutions or electric shock.
How can OSHA violations factor into my workers’ compensation claim?
If you suffer an injury on the job, you are entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer violated OSHA safety standards, he could be liable for further damages or punitive costs for the violation. Call the workplace injury attorneys at Montero Law to discuss your rights to workers’ compensation and more after a construction accident.
Contact us today: 954-767-6500.