OSHA and the Construction Industry
OSHA has some very strict requirements in place for employers in the construction industry. If you have a construction business, it’s important to be aware of the relationship between OSHA and the construction industry. You should do everything in your power to comply with the regulations, as failing to do so comes with some very strict penalties.
For instance, OSHA cited one Fort Lauderdale manufacturer with six safety violations. The proposed penalty amounted to $94,200. For most business owners, that’s enough to cause significant financial strain. You should become well versed in the construction site safety rules and regulations. If you have any questions or encounter a problem, you should seek guidance from an attorney. Friedland & Associates can help you.
What You Should Know About OSHA and the Construction Industry
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed to protect workers in the workplace. All types of workplaces are subject to OSHA laws. However, the construction industry is particularly targeted by the laws.
This is due to the high rate of injury on construction sites. On a yearly basis, construction industry accidents make up 20% of all workplace deaths. To prevent injuries and fatalities, OSHA has strict laws in place. All of the following are construction site safety topics and laws you should know about:
1. Fall Protection
Although there are many different types of construction accidents, falls cause the most fatalities. Therefore, OSHA has some strict rules regarding heights. Any employee who works six feet or more above the ground should have fall protection.
2. Ladder and Stairway Rules
Ladders and stairways can be particularly hazardous. If ladders are being used, they should be free of oil or other slippery substances. They should not be loaded past their intended capacity and should only be used for their intended purpose.
Most construction sites rely on some scaffolding. OSHA regulations require scaffolding made after 2000 to have a guardrail that measures between 38 and 45 inches. If crossbracing is used as a top rail, it needs to be between 38 and 48 inches. All platforms should be planked or decked, with no large gaps. Additionally, workers should receive training on the proper procedures and the hazards of scaffolding.
4. Electrical Work
There are several regulations in place to protect construction workers from electrical accidents. Every employer in the industry should teach their employees how to recognize and avoid unsafe electrical conditions.
How Do OSHA Inspections Work?
OSHA knows that some businesses do not comply with their high standards. For this reason, they do inspections. Although the majority of inspections are randomly timed, there are reasons you could get a visit from the agency. If an employee dies at the workplace, three or more employees are hospitalized because of a workplace injury, or a government agency refers a business, OSHA could show up for an inspection.
Regardless of the nature of your inspection, the process is the same. There are typically three parts to an OSHA inspection. First, there’s an opening conference. Then, there’s a walkaround. Finally, there’s a closing conference. If there is a safety issue, OSHA will issue an apparent citation and give you suggestions for fixing the issue.
What to Do After a Citation
After you receive a citation, you need to post the citation notice. It needs to be at or in the vicinity of the site of the violation. Even if you disagree with the citation, you should comply with this. OSHA can fine you for your failure to post it.
It’s also important to contact an attorney. They are able to advise you on how to handle the situation. In some cases, they may take action to fight the citation.
For instance, they could file a notice to contest. This gives the OSHA director written notice that you plan on fighting the citation. Another option is to request a meeting with the local OSHA director. The director can tell you more about your violation and help you understand how to handle it.
It’s possible that OSHA does not have enough evidence of your violation. Your attorney can ask for proof of the need for a citation. This should be done formally.
If you need a construction accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale or someone who has experience with OSHA violations, you should contact Friedland & Associates. Our firm can give you the guidance you need to resolve the situation.