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For 6 years running, fall protection tops OSHA violation list

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a list of the most frequently cited workplace safety violations nationwide. Employees in Connecticut and other states who work in logistics, bulk transportation and other industries may be interested in knowing that fall protection leads the Top 10 Violations List for 2017 and has now done so for six consecutive years.

In the fiscal year 2017, more than 6,000 citations were issued for violations that occurred under fall protection general requirements. Concurrently, citations for violations under fall protection training requirements appeared on the OSHA's Top 10 list for the first time. This violation claimed the last spot on the list with 1,523 citations issued. Citations under this heading include failure to train workers on fall and equipment hazards and fall protection equipment use and maintenance.

The version of the list that is under consideration here identifies workplace safety violation citations that were issued between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017. Compliance requirements in connection with a new Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection rule may explain the advent of fall protection training requirements as a Top 10 violation in 2017. As suggested by online sources, employers may have had difficulty in meeting the new ruling's compliance deadline of May 17.

OSHA's annual list provides employers with explicit information that could be used to enhance worker safety on the job. In addition to fall protection, hazards communications, respiratory protection, scaffolding, and lockout/tagout requirements each snagged a spot in the top half of the most frequently cited safety violations list.

Employees in Connecticut who are hurt in preventable accidents in the workplace in spite of the safety information made available to employers may want to pursue workers' compensation benefits. An attorney who understands the complexities of the law could work to achieve the maximum allowable benefits on an injured client's behalf.

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