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Top 10 OSHA Workplace Safety Violations, 2021

Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyers explain what you need to know

Some of the most serious workplace accidents involve some of the most common incidents as well, according to the most recent annual list of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) top 10 workplace safety violations across the U.S.

Close up of man's leg and goot tripping over some spilled wires. He is wearing jeans and work boots.

The federal regulatory agency oversees workplace safety nationwide. As part of its responsibilities, OSHA investigates workplaces to make sure companies comply with all safety standards. OSHA also has the power to fine and issue other penalties against companies for workplace safety violations.

OSHA safety violations often result in serious workplace accidents. Injured employees hurt on the job can seek workers’ compensation benefits. This is why it’s important for workers to understand how the OSHA safety violation process works.

What are the most common OSHA safety violations?

OSHA’s top 10 safety violations for the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) are based on inspections conducted between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. During that time, OSHA’s Top 10 violations accounted for 20,982 safety violations. The top 10 OSHA safety violations for last fiscal year were:

  1. Fall protection – OSHA issued 5,271 violations for failing to provide preventative measures to prevent workers from falling from a height over 6 feet. Fall protection violations were the number one OSHA violation in the previous fiscal year as well.
  2. Respiratory protection – OSHA issued 2,521 violations for failing to provide respirators or not properly maintaining or cleaning them.
  3. Ladder violations – 2,018 citations for failing to meet OSHA safety requirements for ladders.
  4. Scaffolding violations – 1,943 citations for unsafe scaffolding, including improperly assembled scaffolding or lack of safety protections for employees working on scaffolding, including safety harnesses.
  5. Hazard communication – 1,939 violations for failing to inform employees about possible safety hazards.
  6. Lockout/tagout violations – 1,670 citations for failing to control hazardous energy (including electrical, mechanical, chemical, hydraulic, pneumatic, thermal, and other energy sources) while servicing or maintaining equipment.
  7. Fall protection training – 1,660 violations for failing to educate workers about fall protection on the job.
  8. Personal protective equipment (PPE) violations – 1,451 citations for not providing adequate eye and face protection, especially to protect workers from hazardous chemicals or flying particles.
  9. Powered industrial truck violations – 1,404 citations for safety violations involving forklifts, motorized hand trucks, and other industrial trucks.
  10. Machine guarding violations – 1,105 citations involving defective or inadequate safety protections on industrial machinery, including injuries caused by sparks or flying chips.

Why should I hire a lawyer?

If you sustained an injury on the job due to an OSHA safety violation, you might think you don’t need an attorney to help with your injury claim. OSHA is already conducting an investigation. But what you might not realize is OSHA’s investigation only concerns whether your company violated OSHA safety rules. Such an investigation does not focus on whether you receive financial compensation for medical bills, replacement income while you’re recovering, and other accident-related expenses.

Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney Richard A. Jaffe and his dedicated legal team at the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC have years of experience helping workers injured on the job due to OSHA safety violations. We’re familiar with the state and federal laws designed to protect the health and safety of workers in Pennsylvania. As a result, we know how to effectively investigate such cases and find the evidence you need to succeed.

Learn more about how we can help if you got hurt due to an OSHA safety violation. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer you can count on when it matters most. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Philadelphia on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

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