Designed to promote employee health and safety, OSHA standards aim to reduce injuries from foreseeable hazards in the workplace. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations govern over 130 million workers at 8 million worksites across the United States. While covered employers should always follow OSHA standards, inspections happen only occasionally, such as when a severe injury occurs, someone files a complaint, or a work site has high rates of injury or is part of a high-hazard industry.
Most Common Massachusetts Workplace OSHA Violations of 2021
Each year, the federal agency publishes a list of the 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards following inspections. According to OSHA, far too many preventable workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths are related to these top 10 standards.
The following OSHA safety standards were the most commonly cited for the fiscal year 2021:
- Fall Protection – Construction: This standard requires employers to implement fall protection systems including having walking surfaces of sufficient strength and structural integrity, as well as providing guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems when appropriate.
- Respiratory Protection – General Industry: To comply with this OSHA standard, employers must use proper enclosures, containment systems, and/or respirators to control occupational diseases caused by breathing harmful dust, smoke, fumes, gases, sprays, and vapors.
- Ladders – Construction: OSHA violations of this standard involve issues such as improper specifications and uses of ladders in the construction industry.
- Hazard Communication – General Industry: This OSHA standard requires the proper classification of chemicals and that employers and employees receive information about the hazards of chemicals in the workplace.
- Scaffolding – Construction: Compliance with this OSHA safety standard involves meeting all sorts of construction scaffolding requirements, from hardware and design to weight limits and installation.
- Fall Protection Training – Construction: OSHA violations of this standard involve improper training of construction employees who might be exposed to fall hazards on the job.
- Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) – General Industry: This OSHA regulation deals with electrical hazards during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.
- Eye and Face Protection – Construction: To comply with this OSHA standard, employers must ensure that workers use appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, gases, vapors, or dangerous light radiation.
- Powered Industrial Trucks – General Industry: This OSHA safety standard governs the design, maintenance, and use of tractors, platform lift trucks, fork trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.
- Machinery and Machine Guarding – General Industry: Violations of this OSHA standard involve improper machine guarding, which is designed to protect employees from hazards such as those created by point of operation, rotating parts, flying chips, sparks, and more.
Massachusetts OSHA Violation Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt on the job due to an OSHA violation or another cause, contact a Massachusetts work injury attorney as soon as possible. At Altman & Altman LLP, we have over five decades of experience protecting the rights of workers. We can help you seek compensation for your injury, whether you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable Massachusetts OSHA lawyer.