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OSHA's list of top 10 safety violations in construction

Like other occupations, those working in the construction field will receive training for their position. But unlike some jobs, construction workers receive additional education and training regarding their health and safety. This is due to the potential risks and dangers construction workers constantly face on-the-job. It is also the duty of an employer to ensure safety measures are taken and federal safety regulations are met.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is the federal agency authorized to enforce health and safety legislation. They can also cite employers for violating these federal regulations. According to the 2014 report of the top OSHA violations, the list of the top 10 most violated safety standards is nearly identical to previous years. This demonstrates that the same violations are occurring in the workplace and the same risks for workplace accidents remain.

The top violation is fall protection. For construction companies, the government requires that employers use safety devices for employees who are working six feet above the ground without a protected side or edge. A fall protection device could prevent serious injuries or even death if the construction worker were to fall from a roof or other surface.

Other violations include hazard communication about the dangers of chemicals used on-the-job, scaffolding in construction being designed by qualified professionals, using a respiratory protection program, use of powered industrial trucks that meet federal standards, establishing a lockout or energy-control system, ladder safety, following electrical and wiring methods and standards, guarding machines and meeting safety requirements for designing electrical systems.

Violations on this list are considered serious violations and OSHA defines serious violation as one that is likely to seriously injure or kill an employee and the employer knew or should have known about the hazard. In matters of OSHA violations, if an employee is harmed in a workplace accident, they might be entitled to workers' compensation, which could help cover medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

Source:, "OSHA's top 10 job site safety violations in 2014," Sharon O'Malley, Jan. 4, 2014

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