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Workplace safety violations put employees at risk

North Carolina workers may face an array of safety hazards on the job, including those that can lead to severe injuries or serious workplace accidents. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration highlighted a top 10 list of the leading violations issued by the agency against employers in the past year. The statistics covered the period from October 2017 through the end of September 2018, and in many cases, they revealed similar patterns of safety problems to prior years.

For several years running, the most commonly cited safety violation has been a failure to provide fall protection to employees. Employers have a duty to ensure that workers have the proper gear to help prevent falls and to save lives in case an incident does occur. However, 7,270 violations were found during the year. In some cases, employers failed to provide protective equipment to workers operating near open edges or on roofs. This wasn't the only type of protective gear often not provided to workers. Coming in at number 10 on the list was a failure to provide proper eye protection. During the year, 1,536 employers were cited for failure to provide eye or face protection to workers dealing with flying objects or caustic gases and vapors.

In other common workplace safety issues, the threat of falling again came to the forefront. There were 3,336 scaffolding safety violations issued during the year. Workers were often not provided with proper fall protection equipment or even guardrails, and some scaffolds were built on shaky foundations.

When workers are injured on the job, they could be severely hurt or permanently disabled; they may not even be able to return to their previous jobs. A workers' compensation lawyer may be able to help injured workers protect their rights and seek the compensation they need.

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