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Safety issues commonly experienced on construction sites

New Jersey construction workers and others may be pleased to know that on-the-job fatal injuries reduced dramatically between 1973 and 2014. However, construction companies are still cited for thousands of violations annually by both federal OSHA as well as in OSHA state plan states. In both state plan states and those using federal OSHA standards, violations related to fall protection were the most common.

There were 19,367 federal OSHA violations in addition to 1,840 violations among state plan states in 2014. There were also 359 deaths attributed to lack of fall protection in that year, which may have been related to guardrails, portable ladders or scaffolds. Hazard communication was another common issue that led to OSHA violations. If workers at a construction site may be exposed dangerous substances, contractors must make them aware of the potential exposure.

To further reduce exposure, construction workers are supposed to have access to eye and face protection. However, there were 5,835 federal violations of those standards in 2014. Inadequate training was another common issue that lead to OSHA violations. These violations were mostly related to the lack of fall protection strategies implemented on a job site. Once employees have been trained, employers need to certify that they were trained properly or have them go through the process again.

Individuals who are asked to do their job in unsafe working conditions may be at a higher risk for injury. If they are harmed because of unsafe conditions, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may include medical treatment and partial wage replacement. Those who have questions about their rights may wish to speak with an attorney.

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