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Improving your odds by maintaining high safety standards

On-the-job injuries happen to the other guy. This is what many people believe, and it often keeps them from taking those important precautions that keep them safe while they work. If you are one of those who, perhaps unconsciously, believes a workplace accident will never happen to you, you may benefit from reading about some common safety violations that cost the lives of thousands of workers in New Jersey and across the country each year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration keeps track of violations it investigates following accidents and inspections. When compiling the data, OSHA discovered that the list is basically the same each year, with only a few minor changes. This may be because you aren't the only one who thinks workplace accidents only happen to someone else.


If you don't work in the construction industry, you may think you are safe from fall hazards. However, falls can occur at any place and time unless management and crew follow fall prevention standards. Nevertheless, if you are in the construction field, you face the greatest risk of falling, especially if you work in elevated areas or near holes. Unfortunately, your risk increases if you and your employer neglect standard fall protection, including:

  • Harnesses
  • Nets
  • Toe-boards
  • Railings
  • Hole covers

Some who work around scaffolds tend to ignore safety measures also. In addition to obtaining adequate training, taking care to properly assemble, use and dismantle scaffolds can prevent injuries due to the following:

  • Fallen objects
  • Electrocution
  • Falling
  • Scaffold collapse

While a ladder may be one of your go-to tools, OSHA recommends using a ladder as seldom as possible. Ladder accidents account for 20 percent of annual fall injuries, and there are safer options for working at heights.

Other hazards

While safety violations that lead to falls may be the most common, your work environment may expose you to other hazards. If you neglect to take precautions in the face of those dangers, you place yourself and others at risk. Common safety violations lead to many serious injuries, such as:

  • Burns from exposure to mislabeled toxic chemicals
  • Lung injuries from inhaling hazardous fumes, dust or vapors
  • Crushing injuries from poorly operated industrial equipment, such as forklifts
  • Lacerations and amputations from unguarded machinery
  • Electrocution from faulty wiring

You may be able to see in this list a potential hazard in your place of employment. Failing to use standard precautions leads to many serious and even fatal injuries each year. You may be fortunate that, so far, these have only happened to the other guy. However, if you should suffer an injury on the job, you may benefit from knowing the ways a legal advocate can assist you.

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