Falls and Scaffolding Failures Create Many New North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Cases in 2009

December 21, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) found that scaffolding failures and the failure of fall protections rose this year by almost 30 percent over 2008 numbers — indicating a new source of danger for North Carolina workers.

The national numbers complied by OSHA do not necessarily correlate directly with North Carolina numbers, but they point to acute risks that NC workers face day-to-day and suggest how many 2010 North Carolina workers’ compensation cases might arise.

1. According to OSHA, nationally there were nearly 9,100 scaffolding violations due to poor signage, unmarked dangers from falling objects, and slip and fall hazards.

2. Fall protection failures numbered over 6,700. According to OSHA, anyone who works over four feet above ground must be protected from fall risks. Fall injuries can lead to contusions, lacerations, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even wrongful death.

3. OSHA handed out nearly 6,400 violations for “hazard communication.” These include failures to correctly fill out safety data sheets and failures to label hazardous chemicals and other materials.

4. OSHA handed out just over 3,800 violations for respiratory protection infractions. Workers in industries like mining, construction, and painting must protect their lungs from particulate matter and other pollutants — without respirators and other key equipment, these workers can fall ill on the job and also be at greater risk for chronic diseases, such as lung cancer and emphysema.

5. Other common violations related to: lock out/tag, electrical failures, ladder problems, powered industrial trucks, and failures to guard machines effectively.

If you or a loved one has been hurt at work due to improperly implemented safety procedures — even if you were partially at fault — you can stake a claim for North Carolina workers’ compensation. It may behoove you to discuss your matter with an attorney ASAP to protect your rights and collect your maximum allowable compensation amount.

More Web Resources:

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Biggest Dangers at Work


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