The Boston, Massachusetts, area has a high number of work sites, where people do everything from laying the foundations of buildings to installing plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems. When something goes wrong at these sites and workers suffer injuries, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. Of course, workers prefer to avoid injury in the first place. Their bosses, to avoid lawsuits, bad press, and worse, should also make prevention of accidents their first priority.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the Department of Labor (DoL), releases a list of the most cited health and safety violations each year. That list is compiled from about 32,000 inspections that federal OSHA staff members conducted of workplaces. That list, according to OSHA, rarely changes from one year to the next despite that fact that it shows things that employers should institute better safety measures with. If employers did institute better safety measures with the things on this list, many of the 4,500 deaths and approximately 3 million injuries suffered by workers each day could be prevented.
Three of the items on the list are fall protection, scaffolds and ladders. All of them affirm that employers need to do a better job at protecting workers who do their work in elevated positions, whether at the top of a ladder or on the side of a building. They can do that by checking all equipment that could result in falls. It should exceed all applicable safety standards. Additionally, workers should be properly trained on the use of the equipment and required to demonstrate their understanding.
Additional things on the OSHA list include electrical wiring, which can cause shock and fire if not properly handled and respiratory protection, which is important when dealing with dirt, dust and chemicals in order to protect the respiratory systems of the workers. The OSHA list contains other things that need to be taken care of to ensure workplace safety as well, so employers and workers should review the whole list.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety,” Thomas Galassi, accessed Dec. 06, 2017