The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for ensuring that employers follow federal rules regarding workplace safety. While OSHA evaluations and site visits are crucial for making employers create safe work sites, there are still numerous employee injuries in Denver each year. Whether an employer has never had a problem with OSHA or whether it is a repeat offender, an employee is generally able to apply for workers’ compensation in Colorado following a construction-site accident.
Of course, an employer who consistently fails to comply with federal workplace safety laws is more likely to have a worker injured or die because of an on-the-job accident. In this story, a construction subcontractor that has been the focus of 19 inspections in seven states in only the past five years had two employees die after falls at a construction site.
The two men were working a 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. shift when they fell approximately 140 feet to their deaths. The men had been on a work platform shortly before their falls. It is still unclear what caused the men’s fall and why safety measures did not protect them, but an investigation is ongoing. It was determined, however, that the men were wearing their safety harnesses, but they may not have been properly tethered.
Work at the construction site halted following the accidents.
Though the subcontractor released a statement saying that it was deeply troubled following the falls, it also has a long history of OSHA violations. Three of these 13 violations have also been quite serious.
Source: Associated Press, “Wacker plant construction idled after death of two workers,” Oct. 10, 2012