Failure to comply with OSHA standards could spell disaster

Everywhere you turn in New York City, construction jobs are in progress, and this means that employers must meet OSHA standards.

Unfortunately, some employers overlook or simply ignore safety and health standards, which can result in serious injury or death for workers and costly liability for the negligent parties.

Top OSHA violations

Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases its list of top 10 safety and health violations, and every year the same categories appear. Topping the list is fall protection, but other items include respiratory protection, lockout/tagout issues, electrical wiring, machine guarding and powered industrial trucks.

Citations for every industry

While construction is high on the list of dangerous occupations and is a leader with respect to falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolding, every industry is a target for OSHA safety and health violations. Lockout/tagout injuries often occur in manufacturing, for example, but injuries or fatalities caused by faulty electrical wiring happen in almost every industry. In 2016, more than 4,500 workers died and some 3 million suffered injuries. The same year, OSHA carried out 32,000 inspections to determine which companies were in compliance with safety and health standards.

The employers that know OSHA representatives will appear unannounced remain well-prepared on the health and safety front. They train their employees according to OSHA guidelines, see that they have proper safety equipment and ensure that hazards are dealt with appropriately.

Assigning fault

There are many ways for an employer to slip up on compliance with OSHA regulations. Construction workers face potentially hazardous situations daily, and given the number of projects going on at any one time in our city, serious injuries are common occurrences. Anyone who suffers an injury in an accident related to unsafe conditions or lack of proper safety equipment has legal recourse, and OSHA and the legal system will hold those at fault accountable.

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