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ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 5 - Issue: 21 - 05/27/2016

Two Pennsylvania Contractors Fined $236K For Fall Protection Shortcomings

Earlier this month, OSHA fined two Pennsylvania contractors more than $236K for exposing employees to serious workplace dangers, including:

 

  • Allowed workers on scaffolds approximately 39-feet high that were not fully planked or decked.
  • Used a scaffold without ladders, stair towers or other safe means of access.
  • Failed to provide fall prevention or guardrails to address fall hazards.
  • Exposed employees to falls of 15 to 39 feet from walkways without guardrails.
  • Did not willfully provide fall arrest or guardrail systems to prevent falls.
  • Allowed employees to work on a fabricated frame scaffold without restraints to avoid tipping.
  • Failed to provide ladders, stair towers or other safe means of access to the scaffold.1

 

According to OSHA, there were 874 construction worker deaths in calendar year 2014, an average 4.5 workers per day;2 and many more get injured.  Each injury costs the contractor on average $65,000.3 Contractors can neither afford these costs nor can they afford to pay such hefty fines. Notice that all seven of the infractions above are fall-prevention activities, which happen to be the first of the four accident types that OSHA has determined are the four leading causes of construction deaths. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 508 worker lives per year.4

 

Now is the time to get your entire project team onboard for Focus Four training - join in on ConstructionPro Network's upcoming webinar series by OSHA-certified construction safety expert Neil Opfer, starting June 23rd.  Early-bird registration is open until May 31, 2016. 

 

Notes:

1. OSHA Regional News Release, (May 19, 2016)

2. OSHA Commonly Used Statistics (May 25, 2016)

3. The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Maryland’s Construction Industry

 

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