No matter where you work, state and federal regulations are in place to ensure that the environment is safe for workers.
Unfortunately, not all employers follow the rules and, instead, take shortcuts. Whatever the reason, an employer’s refusal to play by the rules can lead to serious, potentially fatal accidents. And some of these violations are far more common than others.
Most common OSHA violations
Understanding the common regulations that are often overlooked by employers can help workers be especially cautious in these environments to avoid accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration creates and enforces workplace safety standards. According to them, the most common violations they see during inspections include:
- Failing to have fall protection and training
- Failing to communicate to employees concerning hazardous chemicals
- Failing to have Personal Protective Equipment for employees
- Unsafe scaffolding
- Unsafe ladders
- Failure to control the energization or startup of machines
- Dangerous design, maintenance or use of industrial trucks
- Failing to provide face and eye protection to workers
- Failing to have proper machine guarding
Knowing that these are among the most commonly cited violations can give employees some visibility into what should be in place and hopefully avoid catastrophic accidents.
Some workers are fortunate to be afforded greater safety protection by their union. Unions make for safer workplaces by negotiating contracts with employers that increase worker safety, and unions continually police the workplace for unsafe conditions.
What employees can do
Safety regulations are in place for a reason: They protect workers and minimize the risk for accidents on the job. When employers do not comply with these measures, injured employees must assess their options for pursuing financial relief and legal remedies. Employees have a right to report their circumstances to safety agencies if they face safety hazards on the job and are protected from all forms of employer retaliation.
However, at that point, the damage is done. Employees should not wait until it is too late; instead, contact OSHA as soon as you believe there is a safety issue in the workplace. There is no expectation that average workers understand all the safety regulations that must be in place. If you are being exposed to hazardous working conditions, contact the employment lawyers of Miller Cohen, P.L.C. at 313-566-4787 for a free consultation.