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OSHA highlights major workplace safety problems

Workers in New Jersey may face a surprising number of dangerous conditions on the job, especially when employers flout federal safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laid out a top 10 list of the major safety violations uncovered by the agency during the previous year. The statistics reflected the period from October 2017 through September 2018. In many cases, the violations reflected a consistent pattern recurring repeatedly over the years.

For example, the number one violation has topped the list for the past several years: failure to provide fall protection. Employers have a duty to supply workers on heights with proper protective equipment to prevent falls or mitigate their effects in case of an incident. However, 7,270 violations of this regulation were discovered throughout the year; in many cases, workers on unprotected edges or high roofs had no fall protection equipment at all. Employers also repeatedly failed to provide proper training on fall prevention, the eighth most common violation on the list. There were 1,982 violations during the year, issued when employers failed to train all workers or to ensure that a competent person was providing the instruction.

Protective equipment was also a serious concern when it comes to the danger of worker injuries to the eyes and face. The tenth most common violation was the failure to provide proper protective equipment to workers dealing with flying objects or dangerous vapors and gases which could burn or injure the eyes or face.

When people are injured on the job, the effects can be long-lasting and catastrophic. This is especially egregious when workplace accidents are related to violations of workplace safety standards. A workers' compensation attorney might be able to help injured workers to protect their rights and seek the compensation they need.

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