According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program is a “research program that aims to prevent job-related injuries and deaths.” To accomplish this goal, the FACE Program allocates resources to investigate selected fatalities, identify hazards, and develop and recommend workplace injury prevention measures to owners, contractors, safety professionals, and workers.
Although the FACE Program isn’t currently instituted in the State of Florida, its current participants include California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington. In this article, the Hillsborough County construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law will discuss what it would mean for Florida contractors if the FACE Program made its way to the Sunshine State.
Working to Reduce Workplace Fatalities
In the United States, thirteen workers die while on the job as a result of traumatic injuries every day. This spurred NIOSH to rollout the FACE Program, which aims to study fatal workplace injuries and, in turn, propose solutions to mitigate future workplace fatalities. State FACE Programs keep a close eye on workplace fatalities, conduct investigations, and propose prevention methods at the state level through the use of the NIOSH FACE Program model.
After gathering information, NIOSH creates reports which include descriptions of workplace incidents, contributing factors, and proposed solutions. The identities of any employers or employees involved in the investigation are kept secret. So far, more than 600 NIOSH Face reports and over 1,900 State FACE reports have been published. These programs have investigated deaths linked to confined spaces, electrocutions, young workers, foreign-born workers, machinery, falls from heights, logging, energy production, and more. Although this program isn’t currently being implemented in Florida, if it were to be adopted, it could result in stricter safety policies and increased pressure from government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Conducting a FACE Investigation
NIOSH has developed a consistent method for investigating workplaces with the FACE Program. FACE investigators are typically safety professionals, engineers, and industrial hygienists with exhaustive training in the identification of hazardous workplaces. Here’s how it works:
- Investigators travel to the location where a death recently occurred.
- They examine the project site and collect information.
- They interview company officials, witnesses, and workers to develop a stronger understanding of the working environment and the victim.
- Information is analyzed and a report is prepared.
- The report is furnished to the employer and posted on the NIOSH website to advise others about proper prevention methodologies. They are also effective for training and education purposes.
Although the State of Florida isn’t a current participant in the FACE Program, it could become one in the very near future. As a hotbed for construction, and therefore workplace injuries, Florida is a decidedly strong candidate for this program.
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.