Pennsylvania construction workers are probably well aware of the dangers they face at work every day. Employers are required to meet safety standards by law. According to the National Safety Council, violation of rules designed to prevent falls is the most cited workplace safety violation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration imposes heavy fines on employers who violate these rules in an effort to improve safety for workers.
Fall protection is of great concern to OSHA because falls rank as the leading cause of accidental death for construction workers. In 2015, 350 of 971 job-site deaths were related to falls. Trench safety is another big concern. A company was fined $95,000 in August for a safety violation that led to a non-fatal trench accident.
In addition to high fines, violators have been named in OSHA press releases. Some people in the construction industry consider this ‘shaming tactic” to be unhelpful and unfair. Since President Trump took office, these types of press releases have been cut back.
OSHA’s 2017 list of most frequently cited safety violations includes inadequate fall protection and lack of training for fall protection, lack of guardrails on scaffolding and improper ladder use. The final version of the list is due in December, but it is not expected to be significantly different from the preliminary list.
Construction workers who are injured on the job are usually covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policies. Benefits that are available to people who incur workplace injuries could include the payment of all associated medical bills. An attorney can often be of assistance in preparing and submitting the required claim documentation.