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OSHA’s Top 10 Most-Cited Safety Violations in 2021

OSHA inspection at worksite

A New York Workers’ Comp Lawyer Discusses

Employers have a responsibility to take steps to keep workplaces safe. When employers fail to meet this responsibility, there can be an accident that leaves workers with serious injuries. Injured workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but the claims process can be confusing and frustrating.

Many workplace accidents could have been prevented if employers had taken appropriate precautions. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set health and safety standards for different industries. These standards are designed to protect workers, and employers are required to follow them.

The agency regularly conducts inspections of workplaces, often in response to an accident or reports of hazardous conditions. When companies are found to have violated standards, OSHA will issue a citation, which can result in fines and other penalties.

OSHA's Top 10 Safety Violations

Here are the Top 10 violations found by OSHA for fiscal year 2021, as reported by Safety+ Health:

1. Fall Protection, General Requirements – 5,271 violations: Employers are required to provide fall protection systems for employees who do their jobs on horizontal or vertical surfaces with an unprotected side or edge above 6 feet.

2. Respiratory Protection – 2,521 violations: A respiratory protection program must be established for workers who are exposed to dust, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, vapors, and other harmful substances that can be breathed in.

3. Ladders – 2,018 violations: Employers must follow all requirements for the availability and safe use of ladders for employees.

4. Scaffolding – 1,943 violations: Employers must follow all requirements for the construction and safe use of scaffolding for employees working high off the ground.

5. Hazard Communication – 1,939 violations: Employees must be advised about the hazardous chemicals in their workplace and how to safely handle them.

6. Lockout/Tagout – 1,670 violations: All requirements must be followed for the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment that could release hazardous energy (including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other types).

7. Fall Protection, Training Requirements – 1,660 violations: Employers must provide training for employees who may be exposed to fall hazards.

8. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, Eye and Face Protection – 1,451 violations: Employers must provide appropriate eye and face protection for employees who may be exposed to flying particles, chemical gases, and other hazards.

9. Powered Industrial Trucks – 1,404 violations: All required steps must be taken to ensure the safety of workers when using industrial trucks (including forklifts and motorized trucks) at the workplace.

10. Machine Guarding – 1,105 violations: Guarding methods must be implemented to protect machine operators and other employees from hazards such as rotating parts and flying chips or sparks.

Injured Workers Should Know Their Rights

When workers are hurt on the job, they deserve workers’ compensation benefits that will pay medical expenses and partial wages. But employers and their insurance carriers can challenge claims. Workers may also be pressured into returning to their jobs even though they have not completely recovered from their injuries.

If you’ve been hurt on the job in New York, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our workplace injury lawyers can guide you through the claims process every step of the way. We build strong cases for compensation. We provide aggressive representation at all hearings and appeals. And we fight for the results our clients need and deserve.

Get our legal team on your side. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation at one of our offices.

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