Today we will take a closer look at the top 5 OSHA violations placing Southwest Florida workers at higher risk of injury and what you can do about it.
Falls on Construction Sites
If you work in construction, you probably already know that workplace falls are one of the more common accidents. This is especially true in areas where workers have to work at increased heights or along narrow platforms. Therefore, OSHA requires that there be fall protection at six feet of elevation in construction. This includes using guardrails and toe boards on all construction sites.
OSHA has also enacted regulations dealing with the information that an employer must communicate to their employees when working around hazardous chemicals. Each employee must receive proper training when it comes to learning more about hazard classifications, labeling, and how to fill out and read safety data sheets.
When these details are not provided, an employee can potentially mishandle hazardous chemicals or other harmful substances and won't know the steps to follow in case of a spill or accident.
There also have to be strict safety standards in place when it comes to the scaffolding that is used on work sites. This includes the construction and disassembly of all scaffolding and equipment used on site, including scaffolding supported by legs or frames, suspended scaffolding hung from an overhead structure by rope, scissor lifts, aerial lifts, and other related scaffolding structures and equipment.
Once each employee is familiar with how to put up and take down scaffolding properly, they also need to learn and comply with OSHA regulations as it pertains to fall protection, as already mentioned above.
Another common risk on construction sites are accidents related to a dangerous source of energy on-site. In this case, employers have to implement OSHA lockout (LOTO) standard procedures for disabling machinery and preventing hazardous energy from harming employees.
Another OSHA violation that places workers at risk are head protection violations. Workers on a construction site must be wearing the proper head protection. This is in addition to following information on how to avoid falls and learning to wear the right protective equipment while using a nail gun and other machinery on site.
Steps to Take If You Become Injured
If you are a worker injured on-site, there are some steps you must follow to file for compensation for those injuries. First, immediately report the hazard to your employer. Next, obtain the appropriate level of medical care and treatment as soon as possible, and contact your personal injury attorney for a case review.
Make sure the attorney you choose is well versed in worker's compensation laws, so they can help you navigate what can prove to be a complicated case. Currently, only OSHA or an OSHA state plan agency can pursue a claim under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. They can choose to impose violations and civil penalties against any employer who violated OSHA regulations.
If you were injured on the job in Southwest Florida and are being given a hard time because of your injuries or if it was the result of an OSHA violation, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Worker's compensation attorney who can help navigate the process and outline the steps that need to be taken.