Florida construction workers know better than anyone the dangers of working in construction. From bulldozers to cranes to electrical lines and roof falls, the risks of construction worksite injuries are numerous. As expert OSHA defense lawyers, we know how expensive workplace accidents are to employers and how devastating they can be to workers.
To prevent deaths, injuries, and illnesses in construction, intervention and communication must be a top priority in the workplace. Getting familiar with the following standards that topped OSHA’s top 10 list of 2016 is the starting point for reducing workplace accidents and deaths.
Of the top 10 OSHA violations for the fiscal year 2016, a lack of fall protection ranked as the top cited violation with around 6900 violations. To reduce the amount of fall-related accidents on construction jobsites, employers have a duty to provide fall protection equipment to workers. Under this subpart, fall protection must be provided when workers are performing on any walk/working surface structure that is six feet or more above another surface. The following are some of the activities performed by workers that will require the use of guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, or a position device system:
- Surfaces with unprotected edges and sides
- Working on or near leading edge work
- Performing work near holes and skylights
- Residential construction
- Steep or low slope roofs
The hazard communication standard addresses hazardous chemicals that are produced and imported into the workplace. There were over 5,000 hazard communication violations in construction workplaces in the fiscal year 2016. The majority of these violations consisted of a lack of a hazard communication program, training, developing and maintaining requirements, labeling, explaining the use of, and obtaining hazardous information so that workers would be informed.
The second most frequently cited violation in construction was scaffolding. There were approximately 3900 violations. Types of scaffolding vary in construction from single scaffolding, steel scaffolding, to suspended scaffolding. No matter the type, it should be strong and stable enough to support workers at a height of 10 feet or more. Under the subpart, general scaffolding requirements addresses the following:
- Personal fall arrest
- Guardrail systems
- Capacity load
- Inspections (by a competent person)
- Crossbracing inches
- Planks and decks
If you knowingly place workers into harm’s way, this could result in a willful violation which is even more serious if a death occurs. Do not hesitate to get sound legal advice for help with a potential civil penalty.
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.