After imminent danger inspections, fatality and catastrophe inspections are the top priority when it comes to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections. As OSHA defense lawyers, we know the importance of construction job site employers understanding the different reasons for an OSHA inspection, and how to protect their employees from any of these potential hazards.
What is the Purpose of a Fatality and Catastrophe OSHA Inspection?
The priority of a fatality and catastrophe OSHA inspection is to due the severity of the reason behind it. This inspection will occur when there are several accidents at a construction job site that results in the death or serious injury and hospitalization of three or more employees in a single company. All construction employers should be aware of the fact that they must report to OSHA within eight hours of the death or hospitalization of three or more employees.
Definition of Fatality and Catastrophe
A fatality is considered the death of an employee that results from a work-related incident or exposure. For example, this could be an employee that falls from a scaffold due to faulty equipment, or exposed to a chemical leak due to faulty pipes. A catastrophe is considered the hospitalization of three or more employees because of a work-related incident or exposure. According to OSHA, hospitalization is considered an employee being admitted as an inpatient to a hospital or medical facility for an examination, observation, or treatment.
In addition to a fatality or catastrophe, an incident of national significance can also trigger an OSHA fatality and catastrophe inspection. An example of national significance can be anything from an incident with multiple fatalities, massive toxic exposures, or anything else that might present a possible employee injury and has the possibility of spreading media interest. In the case of national significance, all work-related fatalities and catastrophes will be investigated by OSHA to figure out the cause of the event.
OSHA’s Primary Objective
When this type of inspection is necessary, OSHA’s main objective is to uncover the cause of the accident and determine if any OSHA standards were violated.
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.