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What Are the Most Common OSHA Violations in New York?

In 2008, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released findings from a safety task force that conducted 96 safety inspections at 46 construction sites throughout New York City between Jun 23, 2008 and July 3, 2008.

As a result of the two-week enhanced enforcement effort, OSHA issued citations to 60 contractors for 129 violations that totaled $247,000 in fines. Among 25 violations categories, OSHA released citations for the following categories:

  • Fall hazards (39)
  • Electrical safety (29)
  • Scaffolds (17)
  • Cranes and rigging (13)
  • Welding/gas (10)

The remaining categories included personal protective equipment, tools, material handling, concrete, hoists, stairs and ladders. These make up some of the most common OSHA violations in New York.

OSHA’s National Report Reveals Safety Violation Trends Across the Country

To convey national, cross-industry safety violation trends, OSHA published a report detailing the top 10 violations resulting from OSHA worksite inspections from October 2017 to October 2018. The top violations listed were as follows:

  1. Poor fall protection (7,270 violations) – Rated as one of the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. See OSHA requirements for proper fall protection below.
  2. Improper hazard communication (4,552 violations) – OSHA requires that hazardous chemicals have proper labels to protect workers.
  3. Inadequate scaffolding (3,336 violations) – This is another frequent cause of construction injuries and fatalities. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that 72 percent of workers who suffered injuries due to scaffolding accidents were caused by the support or planking giving way, slips and falls, and being struck by a falling object.
  4. Improper respiratory protection (3,118 violations) – OSHA requires the provision of respirators to protect employees from smoke, vapors, gases, harmful dusts, sprays, and environments with inadequate supply of oxygen.
  5. Inadequate control of hazardous energy (2,944 violations) – Employers must adequately control hazardous energy sources (mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, and hydraulic) for machines to prevent workers maintaining or servicing these machines from suffering burns, electrocution, laceration, crushing, fractures, and even amputation.
  6. Poor use of ladders (2,812 violations) – Almost one third of all fall deaths in the United States are due to ladder use.
  7. Poor use of powered industrial trucks (2,294 violations) – Employers are required to see that people operating forklifts and other powered industrial trucks are properly trained and evaluated.
  8. Improper fall prevention training (1,982 violations) – Failing to give workers adequate fall prevention training (e.g., how to prevent ladder falls). 
  9. Improper machinery protection (1,972 violations) – With all their moving parts, any breakdown in a function, part or process can yield serious work injuries, including amputation, crushed body parts, and burns. Employers are also required to provide safeguards to protect workers.
  10. Poor eye and face protection (1,536 violations) – OSHA requires that employers provide their workers with face and eye protection when they handle mechanical, chemical, and environmental hazards and irritants. This measure can prevent thousands of cases of blindness and other work-related eye injuries.

New York OSHA Violations: Fall Protection, Construction

Falls represent one of the most common OSHA violations in New York and causes of serious workplace injuries and fatalities across the country. These falls can occur off elevated workstations, overhead platforms, or into holes in walls and floors.

On a construction site, any general industry work taking place at an elevation of four feet or more and any construction industry work occurring at six feet requires some type of fall protection. Examples of fall protection include:

  • Safety harnesses
  • Guard rails
  • Handrails
  • Toe boards
  • Safety nets

OSHA also requires that employers put these safeguards in place for any work done over dangerous equipment and machinery. Workplaces should be free of danger, with clean, dry floors. Protective equipment should be supplied, and training provided to workers at no cost.

Powered Industrial Trucks

Most industries utilize powered industrial trucks (also referred to as forklifts) in some capacity or another. These powerful machines are used to transport materials. Among the most common forklift accidents are:

  • Worker is run over or struck by a forklift
  • Forklift tips over
  • Worker is crushed between two vehicles
  • Worker is crushed between a forklift and another surface

Steps to Take if You Discover a Safety Issue in the Workplace

By taking the appropriate steps, you can avoid some of the most common OSHA violations in New York and can help ensure that a hazardous work condition does not cause you or a coworker to sustain an injury. 

Take the following steps in the order specified:

  1. Notify your supervisor of the danger.
  2. File a complaint with your human resources department
  3. File a complaint with OSHA.

Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. OSHA Violation Lawyers Can File Your Lawsuit

If you have sustained an injury in New York due to a violation of OSHA regulations, you deserve compensation for your injuries. 

The OSHA violation lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will champion your right to recover damages, just as we have done for personal injury clients since 1991.

Our multilingual staff (Kannada, Spanish, Tamil, Bengali, and Greek,) will assist you, and our legal team of passionate advocates for the injured will see that you receive justice.

Call us today for a free case review at 516-932-0400.

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