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OSHA releases yearly list of top workplace safety concerns

Safety and the protection of the American worker from personal injury and workplace accidents is the stated mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in New Jersey and throughout the rest of the United States.

Pursuant to that aim, the agency routinely sends out inspectors to factories, construction sites, industrial plants and other worksites across the country to gauge employers' compliance with federally mandated safety rules and standards.

OSHA responds to safety deficiencies in a number of ways. It might seek to educate an employer and help it implement a safer method or practice. Alternatively, the agency sometimes issues serious or willful violations for an egregious safety breach, along with fines and other penalties. Some employers are deemed chronic violators and subsequently suffer repeat and exacting inspections.

OSHA publishes annually what has come to be known as its Top-10 list of the safety violations its inspectors see most frequently at workplaces. Unsurprisingly, the list includes safety deficiencies that often result in work-related injury claims and filings for workers' compensation.

The list for the 2012 fiscal year contains a familiar cast of characters that are prime catalysts for workers' on-the-job injuries year after year.

At the top of the list is what OSHA calls fall protection, which is the same concern that topped the list last year. Companies fall short many thousands of times each year in ensuring adequate protection for their employees working more than six feet off the ground.

Other items on the list that OSHA states more companies need to focus upon and ensure higher safety standards for are scaffolding, ladder use, respiratory protection, machine guarding and electrical design and wiring.

If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a workplace accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: nsc.org, "Examining the top 10: OSHA's most cited violations for FY 2012," November 2012

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