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Fall protection violations tops 2017 OSHA violations list

New York readers may be interested to learn that fall-related workplace violations topped the list of federal citations issued in 2017, according to a new report by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is the sixth year in a row that fall violations took the top spot.

OSHA reports that there were more than 6,000 fall protection violation citations issued during the 2017 fiscal year. Other top citation categories on the list included hazards communications, scaffolding, respiratory protection and lockout/tagout regulations. While most of the leading citation categories have appeared on previous annual lists, fall protection training violations were a new addition. These citations involved the failure of employers to properly train workers on fall hazards, equipment dangers, fall protection equipment and maintenance.

The fall protection training violations were likely associated with OSHA's new Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection rule, which mandated that employers implement new training requirements by May 2017. It is possible the rule could lead to further violations in 2018 if employers fail to fully comply with the new requirements.

A workplace fall could lead to serious situations like back injuries, neck injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Workers who suffer such injuries while on the job are eligible to file for benefits through their employer's workers' compensation insurance policy. Workers' compensation insurance provides medical coverage and wage replacement payments for injured workers while they recover at home. If someone suffers a permanent disability from a work-related injury, long-term benefits may also be available. Injured workers could learn more about the workers' compensation claims process by contacting a personal injury lawyer.

Source: Bulk Transporter, "Fall protection repeats as top OSHA violation for 2017," Nov. 6, 2017

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