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What are the most commonly violated workplace safety standards?

Workplace safety standards exist for the most obvious reason: to help keep workers safe. When an employer ignores standards, rules, regulations and the law, workers can be needlessly injured on the job.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration tracks the safety standards most often violated, including those ignored or circumvented right here in Rancho Mirage.

Last year, OSHA reported on the safety standards most often violated by U.S. employers. They include the following:

  • Fall protection (especially important in the construction industry): to prevent workers from falling off of platforms, equipment, elevated work stations or into holes in floors
  • Hazard communication: "providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals"
  • Scaffolding (again, extra-important in construction): providing proper planking and support, as well as needed safety gear and training
  • Respiratory protection: providing workers with respirators to protect from harmful dust, insufficient oxygen, smoke, gases, vapors, sprays, etc.  
  • Electrical: protection, training and gear needed to work with overhead lines, circuit assemblies and other electrical hazards
  • Forklifts: these powered industrial trucks can be involved in falling load accidents or inadvertently driven off of loading docks because workers are not properly trained or because of a lack of proper signage, etc.
  • Ladders (often construction-related): providing proper ladders for a job and proper training to prevent falls from ladders (among the most common causes of work injuries)

No matter how you have been hurt on the worksite, you need medical care to help you heal and a portion of your wages replaced to help you make ends meet. When a California workers' compensation is denied, both of those needed, earned benefits are inaccessible to you. A workers' comp attorney can help you pursue benefits in appeals and negotiations.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Commonly Used Statistics," accessed Oct. 3, 2014

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