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What Are the Most Common Workplace Safety Violations for Public Employees?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

What Are the Most Common Workplace Safety Violations for Public Employees?Many employees of the state of Illinois and its municipalities put themselves in hazardous situations in order to perform a public service. Some employees, such as firefighters, may have to literally put their lives in danger in order to protect civilians. Others, such as employees with public works departments, use potentially dangerous equipment and materials.

Public employees are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim when they are injured on the job. Some workplace injuries are unavoidable, but others occur due to safety violations. The Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for inspecting the workplaces of the state’s public employees and enforcing safety standards. The Illinois OSHA recently released lists of the top five safety violations in the fiscal year 2019 for Illinois fire departments, public works departments, and water and sewer departments. The different departments shared several common violations:

  1. Hazard Communications: This was the top violation for public works and water and sewer departments, as well as the third violation for fire departments. Public workplaces are required to label their hazardous materials, maintain a database of the materials, and train their employees about the hazards.
  2. Protective Equipment: Respiratory protection was the top violation for fire departments, while personal protective equipment was the fifth violation for water and sewer departments. Firefighters need respirators to prevent them from breathing in harmful substances that fires can create. Water and sewer workers may need protective covering and respirators when they are working in unsanitary environments.
  3. Safe Walking Surfaces: This was the fourth violation for public works departments and the fifth violation for fire departments. The departments are supposed to clear walking surfaces of slip, trip and fall hazards, such as wet spots, sharp objects, and loose boards.
  4. Emergency Preparedness: Medical services and first aid was the second violation for water and sewer departments. Departments must have someone who is trained to administer first aid and adequate supplies, in the event that there is not an infirmary nearby. Emergency action plans were the fifth violation for public works departments. Employees must be trained in how to respond to an emergency, such as a fire.

Contact a Crystal Lake Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

You do not need to prove that a safety violation caused your injury in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you prove a connection between your injury and your work. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.





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