For the 13th year in a row, OSHA's fall protection standard remains at the top of the administration's annual list of top work safety violations.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplace safety, enforces safety protocols, and levies citations and fines for companies violating industry safety requirements. The annual list, based on worksite inspections, aims to alert employees about dangers and make employers aware of these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards.
Top 10 OSHA safety violations
OSHA inspects workplaces for health and safety compliance. Such an investigation can be triggered by a work accident, an employee complaint, past violations, or an industrywide safety campaign. An OSHA violation occurs when a company or employee willingly or unknowingly ignores potential and real safety hazards. There are six categories of violations - serious; other-than-serious; willful or repeated; posting requirements, and failure to abate. The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards and industries following 2023 OSHA worksite inspections:
- Fall protection, general requirements - 7,271 violations. Industries that received the most fall protection violations last year were construction, manufacturing, and utilities.
- Hazard communication - 3,213. Manufacturing, construction, and accommodations and food services industries were top recipients of this type of violation.
- Ladders - 2,978. Construction, manufacturing, utilities
- Scaffolding - 2,859 - Construction, wholesale trade, real estate and rental leasing
- Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs) - 2,561. Manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing
- Lockout/tagout - 2,554. Manufacturing, wholesale trade, waste management
- Respiratory protection - 2,481. Manufacturing, construction, health care, and social assistance
- Fall protection, training requirements - 2,112. Construction, manufacturing, utilities
- Personal protective and lifesaving equipment, eye and face PPE - 2,074. Construction, waste management, wholesale trade
- Machine guarding - 1,644. Manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail
Safety issues cause recent work accidents in Ohio
Safety requirements are important, and when they are not followed, serious injuries and even fatal work accidents can occur. In Ohio, there are recent examples of common safety violations leading to serious work accidents. Here are some high-profile Ohio cases that resulted in OSHA violations over the last year:
- In February, OSHA investigated an Orrville iron castings plant following an amputation accident. The alleged cause was a failure to "lockout," or power off, a core mold machine's operating parts. Due to this lack of protection during service and maintenance, an operator's hand became ensnared in the rotating machinery, and he lost a thumb. Inspectors say the company allegedly failed to guard the machine and did not provide workers with proper safety training. OSHA proposed more than $171,000 in penalties against the company.
- In 2022, a Fostoria vinyl tile manufacturer faced $1.2 million in proposed OSHA fines for allegedly repeated violations. The administration claimed that in just 5 years, there had been 13 employee injuries due to the company's failure to follow required machine safety procedures for the prevention of burns and amputations. Specific violations were issued for exposing workers to machine hazards, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and failure to train workers on safety hazards and precautions.
- Also, in 2022, OSHA issued its eighth violation in six years to a Maumee roofing contractor for allegedly failing to meet fall protection and hazard training standards. During one inspection, a government inspector allegedly witnessed eight employees working atop a residence at heights up to 20 feet without fall protection. More than $300,000 in fines were proposed.
Injured workers in Ohio need to know their legal options
Employers must ensure a safe workplace, but accidents will still happen. If you were injured in an Ohio work accident, it's important to understand your legal rights and options. Regardless of the cause — safety lapse, personal error, or otherwise — you have a right to seek compensation for your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages. However, recovering the amount you deserve can be challenging.
Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation is notorious for disputing and denying claims, but at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A., our attorneys stand up for injured workers. With offices in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, Troy, and Columbus, our experienced workers' compensation lawyers can fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation to see how we can help you.