Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a list of the top safety violations in Connecticut and around the country. At the top of the list for 2018 was fall protections which mostly relate to the construction industry. Employers need to make sure that there are protections in place whether an employee is using a small ladder to reach something on a shelf or is working on a roof. Guard rails, toeboards, floor holes, and other features are standard.
Another common safety violation was communication about hazards, and this applies to all types of businesses. Employers must make sure that safety data sheets for chemicals are up to date and available for all employees to see. Workers must be trained to use any new chemicals that they come into contact with as tasks change. The rules were updated in 2012, so employers should double check that their sheets meet the new standards.
Respiratory, eye, and face protection were also on the violations list. Employers must provide gear that protects employees from chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants. Businesses also violated standards for machine guarding often. Machine parts can seriously maim workers and even cause death, so guards and tripping devices must be installed to prevent such incidents.
Victims of a workplace injury may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of whose fault the accident was. These benefits can include medical treatment and, in some cases, a percentage of lost wages. Having the assistance of an attorney with the preparation of the required claim might be advisable.