Recent initiatives proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will heighten enforcement and increase penalties for violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA has a bigger budget and larger enforcement personnel to implement and enforce new and stricter workplace safety standards to protect workers.
Specifically, it is anticipated that OSHA will issue new regulations that will increase scrutiny on fall protection provided by employers. Not providing fall protection is one of the most significant and common violations. Falls from heights are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. It is imperative that employers comply with strict fall protection standards to protect workers who work at elevated heights whether it is on a scaffold, ladder or other safety device. OSHA is also proposing new policies and procedures that will require stricter reporting and record-keeping by employers for on-the-job injuries and increased protection, investigation and training of temporary workers.
Block O’Toole & Murphy’s team of seasoned trial lawyers are committed to working on behalf of injured workers, and we are pleased that OSHA is recognizing the need to amp up its enforcement efforts. Stricter OSHA regulations will better protect injured workers by holding employers to higher safety standards. However, despite extensive OSHA, federal, state and local safety regulations pertaining to work and equipment at construction sites, devastating accidents still frequently occur.
In the event a construction accident does occur, the law enables injured workers to recover from site owners and general contractors who have failed to provide adequate workplace safety and fall protections. Block O’Toole & Murphy has recovered well over $500 million for its clients by verdicts and settlements, including many multimillion dollar awards for injured construction workers.
Source: law360.com, “OSHA Plans to Comb the Construction Industry,” by Michael Abcarian, May 8, 2013.