Employers throughout Atlanta need to be aware of Occupational Safety and Health regulations and ensure compliance with the rules. When employees get hurt on-the-job or safety violations are reported, OSHA inspectors may levy fines against a company. Repeat violations and willful violations can result in larger fines. OSHA penalties are intended to act as a deterrent and prevent the types of risks on the job that can result in accidents and injuries.
For many workers in the construction field, the four biggest on-the-job risks include falls, electrocution, being caught in or between objects, and being hit by objects. OSHA refers to these four causes of injury as the “fatal four” because they are the primary reasons construction workers die while performing work tasks. When a worker is killed by any cause on-the-job, surviving family members should speak with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer about their options for recovering work injury benefits and wrongful death damages.
Repeat OSHA Violations Lead to Atlanta Work Injuries- and Fines for Employers
OSHA takes action whenever it learns about any worker safety issues, but it is especially important for the agency to become involved when safety precautions are not being taken to prevent the “fatal four,” injuries.
Recently, one company was cited both for failures to prevent falls and for putting workers at risk of electrical injuries. Safety News Alert reported the company, DMAC Construction LLC, faced $470,300 in fines.
DMAC was fined such a large sum of money because it had a long history of failure to protect workers from some of the most dangerous risks employees in the construction industry face. The company, for example, had more than 40 past scaffolding violations just since 2008 alone.
In 2014, OSHA was notified that scaffolding had been constructed on a DMAC construction site without a brace necessary to prevent the scaffolding from collapsing. The scaffolding was also built dangerously close to live power lines, putting workers at risk of both falling and being electrocuted. Just three weeks after this incident, OSHA was notified that brick laying was occurring 35 feet above ground and workers performing the task had no protective equipment to prevent a fall. With a safety record like this, it is no wonder two workers employed by DMAC sustained electric shocks while performing work tasks.
OSHA has now taken strict action against DMAC to try to prevent future incidents from occurring. The $470,300 recent fine against the company was for one repeat worker safety violation as well as for seven willful violations of worker safety laws.
Both DMAC and another construction company under the control of the same owner will also be subject to additional OSHA enforcement. OSHA is supposed to inspect all workplaces but is understaffed and inspections are few-and-far between. To make sure companies that have a poor safety record end up with more oversight, OSHA has a Severe Violators Enforcement Program. Companies within the program are regularly inspected.
Other construction companies should take note that OSHA takes repeated and willful violations seriously and that OSHA is committed to fining companies and forcing them to comply with rules designed to prevent the four top construction industry deaths. Employers must be sure to exercise care and caution to prevent workers from suffering harm.
The Atlanta work accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury on your job site. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.