New York residents who are employed in the construction industry are probably fully aware of the many hazards they face at the job site. One of those hazards is falling. In fact, in 2014, falls accounted for nearly 40 percent of all construction deaths, and a fifth of private industry employee deaths was in the field of construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or the BLS.
In some cases, the falls may have been because of negligent employers. In a recent report, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration contend that Design Plastering West LLC and Design Plastering Inc., were responsible for the death of a 44-year-old worker who fell from the exterior of an apartment complex he was repairing on May 14. According to the report, OSHA claimed the man’s employers did not provide proper safety gear or have scaffolding in place to protect him in the event of a fall. The other construction workers were not protected either. The victim was hired just 30 days prior.
On Nov. 10, OSHA fined the two companies for four suspected severe and eight suspected egregious willful violations. Prior to Nov. 10, Design Plastering was cited by Arizona’s state OSHA seven times for ignoring hazards associated with falls. The companies face $407,400 in fines for numerous health and safety violations. There are around 90 people employed with the stucco and plaster contractors.
Both large and small businesses are obligated to follow OSHA guidelines to make sure all their employees stay safe. If someone is the victim of an injury at work, a lawyer could help them to file their workers’ compensation claim.
Source: EHS Today, “OSHA: Unguarded Balcony, Lack of Fall Protection Caused Construction Worker Death”, Sandy Smith, Nov. 11, 2015