Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports the top 10 safety violation citations that were issued nationwide, including Oklahoma. This analysis serves different purposes, one of which is to underscore the importance of safety standard compliance in the prevention of workplace injuries. Safety authorities say the top 10 list also shows the level of compliance among U.S. business owners.
However, announcing these numbers seems to make little difference because the results for the fiscal year 2019 were very similar to those of FY 2018. The top 10 positions remained the same, except for last year’s fourth and fifth positions trading places. This makes lockout/tagout citations number four and respiratory protection number five in FY 2019. The most prevalent category remained fall protection violations at number one; however, violations related to fall protection safety training came in number eight. It is also interesting to note that numbers three, five and seven — scaffolds, ladders and industrial trucks — also pose fall hazards.
Safety authorities are concerned about the number of preventable workplace fatalities and injuries that continue to occur from year to year. Even with the information provided by the top 10 list of citations each year, workers continue to go unprotected from known hazards. At the recent NSC Congress and Expo, the NSC president said the top 10 list should challenge employers and employees to commit to safety in the workplace.
Despite the efforts of all to improve occupational safety and health, workplace injuries will continue to cause injured workers to lose days at work. The Oklahoma workers’ compensation program typically has their back, and workers can file benefits claims to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the navigation of the benefits claims.