Employers and workers in Louisiana are generally in agreement when it comes to doing everything possible to maintain safe work environments. During a recent safety event where this particular topic was addressed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a preliminarily listing of the agency’s top violations for 2018. The majority of the issues documented involved fall hazards and failure to take sufficient preventative actions.
A failure to provide sufficient fall protection tops the list. Many citations issued for this reason involved contractors working around unprotected sides or edges on steep or low-sloping roofs. A lack of sufficient hazard communication is another oversight that led to many violations. OSHA noted that individuals working at auto facilities and hotels or motels were more likely to be carrying out duties without a written safety program, proper training or required safety data sheets (SDSs) on file.
More than 3,000 violations were issued for poor scaffolding support and failure to render medical evaluations for painting contractors and other employees who normally work around known respiratory risks. Additionally, 2,000-plus citations were issued to employers that failed to use proper lockout or tagout devices or equipment and implement machine-specific safety procedures. Deficiencies with ladder safety included using ladders for improper purposes or having equipment with broken steps or rails. Some employers also failed to remove damaged forklifts from service while others didn’t properly train employees on the use of guardrails and fall arrest systems or stock eye and face protection.
When a workplace accident does occur, the initial steps include seeking appropriate medical care and reporting the incident as established per workplace guidelines. An attorney may become involved if a filed claim is denied or if a decision isn’t made within a reasonable period of time.