Injuries in the Workplace: A Review of Common Safety Violations
While workplace safety has continued to improve over the last few decades, many workers are still exposed to the risk of injury or even death on a regular basis. Naturally, some jobs such as those in construction, logging, and fishing carry much higher risks than others. However, even low-risk jobs can become hazardous affairs due to negligence or carelessness on part of management or other employees.
Who Pays When Someone is Injured in the Workplace?
If you experience a workplace injury, you may likely rely on worker’s compensation insurance to step in and take care of expenses. This can help victims cover medical bills, loss of wages, and more. Unfortunately, in many cases the worker’s comp that is offered is no replacement for the loss of income, and worse yet some workplaces might find ways to try and deny these benefits to injured workers. Other places don’t have any type of worker’s comp at all, leaving the injured employee to deal with the problem on their own.
Not only that, but even if you do qualify for worker's comp, this doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to further litigation and compensation. If your injury was a result of negligence, carelessness, or other forms of intentional conduct, the company could be held liable for more.
It’s important for workers to know their rights, especially given the frequency that workplace violations are reported to OSHA and other regulatory bodies. To highlight this point, let’s take a look at the most common workplace safety violations as per the latest figures provided by OSHA.
Most Common Workplace Safety Violations
To put these workplace safety violations into context, consider that these types of incidents account for over 50% of serious workplace injuries within industries such as construction:
- Shocks and electrocutions
- Being struck by an object
- Getting stuck between objects
With that in mind, here are the top most-cited workplace violations as per OSHA’s latest annual report:
- Lack of proper fall protection
- Poor/no communication about workplace hazards
- Lack of proper respiratory protection
- Lack of proper eye/face protection
- Improper ladder usage
- Electrical or wiring problems
- Problems with machine guarding
As you can see, most of these violations involve easy-to-spot problems and issues caused by a deliberate lack of diligence. Year after year, the number of citations remains steady and, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.8 million non-fatal injuries are reported yearly.
LNCs Weigh in with Vital Medical Facts and Assessments
When it comes to litigation involving injuries in the workplace, shrewd attorneys don’t approach the courtroom without the assistance of qualified medical professionals. Legal nurse consultants fulfill this important role by collaborating with attorneys, victims of workplace injuries, and other medical professionals in order to uncover essential medical facts. They are able to dig into medical records, identify cause-and-effect relationships between a workplace and an injury, compile thorough reports, and provide expert testimony during litigation.
With that said, our aim today was to help readers understand how workplace injuries happen, and how companies are often directly complicit or to blame for exposing workers to workplace hazards.