The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s focus on companies who expose their employees to fall hazards has resulted in multiple citations and thousands of dollars in fines. Despite enforcement in Colorado and other states, and the numbers of injured workers who did their jobs without fall protection, repeat violations continue to occur. OSHA inspectors recently cited a construction company in another state after finding the same violations on multiple visits.
OSHA investigators noted that, on every visit to the company’s construction sites, workers were wearing fall harnesses that offered no protection because they were not securely tied off. Issuing employees with personal protective equipment without providing training in the proper use of it is pointless. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the employer to monitor the use of protective equipment. Reportedly, the same company had received citations for violations of a similar nature at different sites after two previous inspections.
Authorities say proper protection against fall injuries includes assessment of every construction site during the planning stage. With potential hazards and appropriate personal protective equipment assessed in advance, precautions can be taken. Employees for that project can then receive the necessary safety training and arrive on site well prepared and aware of potential dangers.
As long as construction company owners neglect their responsibilities to protect the health and safety of workers, injured workers may face high medical bills and loss of income. Colorado victims of workplace accidents may pursue recovery of medical expenses by filing workers’ compensation insurance benefits claims. Workers whose injuries caused absences from work may seek compensation for a portion of lost wages.
Source: constructiondive.com, “OSHA fines CT contractor $185K for willful, repeat fall violations“, Hallie Busta, Nov. 17, 2016