Top OSHA Construction Violations That impact Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims

16 Sep Top OSHA Construction Violations That impact Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims

Construction worksites are a dangerous place to be even when safety precautions are in place. When an accident occurs, that usually can be attributed to a lapse in safety equipment monitoring, improperly maintained machinery, carelessness on the job, and more. In 2018, 5,250 workers died which averaged out to 100 deaths per week, or 14 every day, according to a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Overall, construction site fatalities accounted for 20 percent of all workplace deaths in 2018. 

           Accident statistics were broken down by category types and the commonly known Fatal Four types for 2018 were:

  • Falls: One-third (33.5%) of all accidental deaths at work were from falls (338/1008)
  • Struck by Object: 112 deaths (11.1%)
  • Electrocutions: 86 deaths (8.5%), and
  • Caught-in-between: 55 deaths (5.5%).

OSHA Violations 2019

           For the fiscal year 2019, OSHA recorded 26,832 workplace violations, broken down into the following categories:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements: 7,014
  2. Hazard Communication: 4,170
  3. Scaffolding: 3,228
  4. Lockout/Tagout: 2,975
  5. Respiratory Protection: 2,826
  6. Ladders: 2,766
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks: 2,347
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements: 

2,059

  1. Machine Guarding: 1,987
  2. Eye and Face Protection 1,630

Falls and Fall Protection

           Falls are the most common causes of workplace accidents and deaths in any given year. OSHA requires that all industries comply with its Fall Protection standard (1926.501) that lays out the safety regulations to follow for avoiding falls. This ranges from requiring protective guardrails for any platform six-foot-high or more from ground level and/or use of protective fall arrest systems. 

           Gabriel Brutley, 35, of Guntersville, AL, recently fell to his death (January 6, 2020) while working at a poultry processing plant, owned by Pilgrim’s Pride, which already had numerous OSHA violations on record from past years. These violations ranged from falls to crushed-by accidents, yet had not received any OSHA plant inspections to the time of this latest fatal accident.

           According to an online news report, Butley was riding on an elevator designed to move tools and other material goods (freight) from one level to another but was not designed to carry workers safely. Another story reports that a safety device had been removed by a plant supervisor shortly before Butley got on the lift. While details are still sketchy surrounding this fatal accident, the circumstances show a need for better safety training and the use of materials and machinery in the proper manner they were designed for.

           Meat and poultry processing plants are known for pushing line production speeds higher, a crucial aspect already under review and research by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). 

           Workers must follow safety regulations and avoid putting themselves (and others) in danger of losing their lives. If you or another worker are asked to do something that could jeopardize your safety and your life, you have the right to refuse following such an order. Record the event, gather any witnesses, and then report the event to Arizona’s Department of Safety and Health (ADOSH). 

Conclusion

           Always protect yourself first while at work and avoid getting into compromising situations that could cause injury or death to you or a fellow worker. If you see unsafe conditions while at work, report it to your supervisor at once. 

           If you need help with filing your workers’ compensation claim, call us at once for a free consultation. We are here to help you. 602-346-9009

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