Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations can result in penalties ranging anywhere between $7,000 and $70,000 per serious violation with a minimum of $5,000 for each willful or repeated violation. These violations can be very costly and extremely stressful for contractors and construction professionals.
As a national roofing legal resource, we understand the importance of contractors and construction professionals ensuring that their job sites and work practices are routinely reviewed and monitored to help prevent workplace hazards. Every year, OSHA releases a report of the most cited OSHA violations. Below, we outline three of the most common OSHA violations and safety tips and recommendations from a professional national roofing attorney on how to avoid these violations.
1. Inadequate Fall Protection
Each year, OSHA releases a list of the top violations in the construction industry, and falls are consistently at the top of this list because they are the leading cause of accidents in the workplace. Falls are especially dangerous on construction job sites and are not surprisingly one of the most common causes of workplace death in the construction industry. As such, OSHA is not very lenient when it comes to fall protection, scaffolding and ladder violations.
As a national roofing lawyer, we recommend continuously monitoring and evaluating your job site. Look for potential fall hazards, fix holes if needed or provide guardrail or other appropriate systems if the holes cannot be fixed, and require your employees to use fall prevention systems such as nets and harnesses when needed.
2. Hazard Communication
Chemical manufacturers and importers are responsible for evaluating the hazards of their products, including corrosiveness, flammability and combustability. This information is required to be placed in material safety data sheets (MSDS) as well as on labels of the container itself.
With our experience as national roofing attorneys, we strongly suggest contractors to make sure labels are properly affixed to their containers, have a written plan in case of an emergency, and provide employees training and access to MSDS in order to avoid a hazard communication violations.
3. Improper Use of Scaffolding
An improper use of scaffolding can pose a safety concern to not only the individuals who are using the scaffolding, but also to any person near or underneath it. When scaffolding is improperly used or poorly assembled the equipment may collapse causing serious injury to individuals on top, near, or underneath the falling scaffolding and any tools or machinery that were sitting on top of it.
To avoid a violation for improper use of scaffolding, it is recommended to make sure that all equipment and materials used for scaffolding are properly maintained, all employees are properly trained on the appropriate method for assembling scaffolding, and individuals who are using the scaffolding are knowledgeable of any weight limits.
Contact your national roofing legal resource at Cotney Construction Law by calling 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.