The construction industry is the backbone of the economy and, quite literally, has built this country from the ground up. Yet, companies continue to expose construction workers to dangerous conditions. Recently, four construction companies working on a mill renovation project in Easthampton, MA were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations of construction safety regulations. What is disturbing is that the fines totaled more than $110,000.00, with one company alone incurring fines of $93,170.00. The fines were predominantly for failing to protect workers from fall hazards and provide workers with proper fall protection, including failing to provide any fall protection for workers on the roof of the building and leaving floor openings unguarded and uncovered. You can read more about this specific instance here, as reported on by Jim Kinney of the Springfield Republican.
However, this is more than just an isolated incident, and that makes it all the more troublesome. OSHA regulations mandate that fall protection be in place if workers are exposed to a fall risk of greater than 6 feet. Fall protection can take the form of tied off safety harnesses, railings, or decking, among other things. Fall injuries make up a large portion of construction site accidents, and frequently cause some of the most severe injuries. OSHA has taken steps to crack down on fall hazard violations, but that is not enough; everyone on a job site must be vigilant about fall hazards and report any potential hazards to their supervisor immediately. If you or a loved one has sustained a fall injury at work, we, at Keches Law Group, can help. The hope is that by working together, fall injuries and hazards will be reduced and job sites will be much safer for workers.