Falls are some of the most significant hazards to which workers in all industries are exposed. Unfortunately, many employers fail to prioritize employee safety, which was underscored at a safety congress that was recently held in San Diego. As in the previous eight years, the most frequently cited safety violations in the fiscal year 2019 were related to fall protection. It would be interesting to know whether the lack of fall protection also features near the top of workers’ compensation claims in California.
The matter gives rise to significant concern because the number of citations for fall protection was 85% higher than the violation that is number two on the list: hazard communication. In fact, the number of hazard communication citations was 6,000 fewer than fall protection citations. The remaining eight places on the list showed little variation from FY 2018, with only respiratory protection swapping places with lockout/tagout violations, which climbed from number five to number four.
The top five on the list look like this: Fall protection, hazard communications, scaffolding, lockout/tagout and respiratory protection. The bottom five is made up of violations related to ladders, powered industrial trucks, fall protection training requirements, machine guarding, and eye and face protective equipment. While many employers take responsibility for the safety of their employees, too many of them seem to have their focus on profits instead.
Fortunately, the California workers’ compensation system has the backs of injured workers, regardless of whether their injuries involved safety violations. An attorney with experience in this field of the law can explain how the no-fault insurance program works and assist with the benefits claims process. Compensation typically covers medical expenses along with a wage-replacement package.