OSHA and Construction Accidents
Written by greg on January 4, 2012
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor created in 1970 and charged with preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and occupational fatalities. They do this in large part by creating and enforcing work-place safety standards. These federal regulations cover private and public sector employment. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the organization and its edicts are often quite controversial. Employers like to complain that the cost of these regulations is prohibitive. Yet, studies show that there are long-term benefits in reduced costs to companies in the form of fewer workman’s compensation claims and onsite injuries (when regulations are adhered to). Let us consider some of the most recent standards at construction worksites endorsed by OSHA.
*OSHA has developed a series of measures to help prevent heat illnesses of outdoor workers when the heat index rises above 91 degrees.
*OSHA developed the standards to ensure the safety of crane hoisted personnel platforms – common site where skyscrapers are being erected.
*OSHA recently fined a company for not being in compliance with standards to prevent cave-ins (for workers who are working below ground in any number of scenarios).
In addition, OSHA has set standards for everything from mandatory safety training to exposure to asbestos and bloodborne pathogens to permissible protective equipment.
Safety regulations are to be posted and visible for employees as well as incorporated into employee handbooks. Most companies require employees to initial or otherwise indicate that they have read all safety requirements of the job for which they will be employed.
In the end, OSHA plays an important part in keeping Americans safe on the job.