After observing a number of fall hazards at three construction sites in Bloomfield, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a full investigation. According to an EHS Today news report, Concrete Systems Inc. now faces $52,470 in fines from the eight citations. OSHA officials cited the firm for one repeat and seven serious violations. The company was previously cited for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at worksites in Kearny and Cranford.
OSHA cited the firm because workers were allegedly exposed to a 25-foot fall hazard without adequate protection. The other serious violations were related to fall protection issues as well. Workers were even exposed to impalement risks from to rebar ends that were not guarded.
Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, so it is important that the OSHA continues to keep New Jersey companies in check. These types of penalties and citations are designed to penalize unsafe practices and deter future incidents. However, many companies are repeat offenders and continue to put employees in harm’s way.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fatal accidents in the private construction sector increased five percent to 775 in the year 2012 from 738 in 2011. In all sectors, falls, slips and trips resulted in 668 work-related deaths. About 81 percent of those deaths resulted from a fall to a lower level. Therefore, one way to reduce the number of fatal falls at construction sites is to use provide fall protection safety gear such as safety nets, retractable lifelines, safety ties, aerial kits, warning signs and body harnesses.
If you are injured on the job, please do not hesitate to:
- Notify your employer
- Inform your manager that you intend to seek medical attention
- Inquire if there is a specific hospital or doctor that is covered by your company’s insurance
- Write down names and numbers of witnesses to the accident
- Take photos of the site of the fall
- Keep records of your financial losses
If you need medical attention and have to miss work, make sure you explore your legal rights and options. Financial support should be available for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages through New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. If you are the victim of negligence, additional support may be available through a third-party claim. An experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney will review all of your options and help you secure fair compensation for your losses.