Posted: February 6, 2016
A Chicago area builder was recently issued three citations, including one willful and one serious safety citation, for reportedly exposing workers to falling hazards, according to authorities at the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA). These citations, which were issued to Ziggy’s Roofing of Norridge, IL, reportedly total $115,000 in fines.
Falls account for 40 percent of all work-related deaths at construction sites, according to OSHA. In 2013, OSHA recorded 291 fatal falls based on 828 total work-related fatalities in the construction industry. The deadly potential of falls at construction sites is one of the reasons that OSHA issues such hefty fines to employers who fail to provide the proper fall protections for their workers.
Background on Ziggy’s Safety Violations
OSHA sets the standards for workplace safety, and when an employer doesn’t play by the rules, workers are far more likely to be in accidents and get hurt on the job. Ziggy’s Roofing is a classic example of an employer ignoring the rules and paying the price for not meeting the required safety standards.
According to the OSHA inspector’s report, dated July 29, 2015, four employees were seen working on residential housing project without fall protections, guardrails, personal protective equipment or safety nets.
Observers explained that, without these protections, workers were at risk of falling more than 14 feet to the ground. In addition to the lack of fall protections noticed during the OSHA investigation, officials also reportedly observed the contractor’s employees operating a nail gun without the appropriate personal protective gear, such as eye protection or hard hats.
Preventing Falls & Keeping Workers Safe
As part of OSHA’s efforts to keep workers safe on the job, employers are required to plan ahead for projects that involve scaffolding, use of ladders, and roof work. Specifically, employers are generally obligated to:
- Scout job sites
- Identify the potential safety hazards
- Plan to have the necessary safety equipment and procedures in place before workers being working at a given site.
Additionally, OSHA regulations mandate that, any time construction workers are working at levels that are at least 6 feet above the next level, employers are required to provide:
- An effective form of fall protection, which could include harnesses, safety nets, or even personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
- Proper training on how to safely use scaffolding, fall protection systems, ladders, etc.
Contact a St Louis Workers Compensation Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have been hurt in a work-related accident – or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal work accident, contact a seasoned St Louis worker compensation lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law. We have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting.
To learn more about how we can help you, attend a free, no obligations initial consult with a St Louis worker compensation lawyer at Brown & Brown. You can schedule this meeting by calling us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.