According to the Ohio office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry’s primary cause of fatalities is falls. While many people may think that the distance a worker falls will determine the severity of injuries, OSHA says that many workers’ deaths have been caused by falls from heights of less than 10 feet. OSHA prescribes strict safety regulations for the construction industry, many of which are particularly aimed at protecting workers from falling in a work-related accident.
OSHA recently fined an Ohio construction company for exposing their workers to fall hazards that could be fatal. The citations followed an inspection in August, because it was found that the company had employees working on the roof of a building without any of the required fall protection. OSHA classified the violation as willful because the owner of the company was fully aware of the dangers to which the workers were exposed.
Basic protection that is required includes safety nets and guardrails, along with fall arrest systems or a warning-line system. In addition, employers are required to provide adequate training in the use of the fall protection equipment, and they should inform workers of the hazards they may face and the procedures to prevent incidents of workers falling. According to OSHA records, the same company was cited for similar violations in February.
Ohio workers who have suffered injuries in a work-related accident may claim benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance fund. Benefits usually cover all medical expenses related to the accident, along with compensation for lost wages. Workers who suffer temporary or permanent disability after an on-the-job accident will also receive additional compensation that will be determined by various facts and the severity of the injuries.
Source: sent-trib.com, “All-Set Roofing & Construction faces OSHA fine“, Dec. 11, 2014