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Is new entry on OSHA top 10 violations list cause for concern?

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's list of top 10 violations remains largely unchanged. However, a new entry has emerged in the fiscal year 2017. According to online resources, 1,523 citations were issued in connection with fall protection training between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017. In light of this development, workers in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation who are at risk for fall-related injuries may want to know more.

Assessment of the Top 10 Violations List for 2017 indicates that employees who perform job duties at heights of 6 or more feet above lower levels may be particularly at risk for serious injury or death in some situations. With violations under 'Fall Protection - Training Requirements' assuming the ninth position on the annual OSHA list, some construction, bulk transportation and logistics industry insiders might be concerned about the recent uptick in related citations. In response to OSHA's announcement, officials are urging employers to address the training of workers in the areas of both fall and equipment hazards and fall protection equipment use and maintenance.

A suggestion that the number of fall protection training citations correlates with employer difficulty in meeting compliance obligations as related to OSHA's Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection rule may have merit. The final rule, which became effective on Jan. 17, had a compliance deadline of May 17.

However, lag in the area of meeting fall protection training requirements for any reason may not justify the outcome for employees. Workers in Pennsylvania who are facing the process of rebuilding their lives following a serious accident in the workplace may want to pursue the workers' compensation benefits to which they may be entitled. An attorney who is practiced in this area of the law may be able to help a client prepare and file a claim, and the attorney could also work to ensure a satisfactory resolution on that client's behalf.

Source: Safety+Health, 'OSHA's Top 10 most-cited violations for fiscal year 2017," Kevin Druley, 11/25/17

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