Safety Concerns at New England Construction Site, says OSHA

The general contractor and nine subcontractors of the Merrimack Premium Outlets were recently cited and slapped with nearly $174,000 in proposed fines. Safety officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected the New England work site and found that there were a number of violations of workplace safety standards.
“Our inspection found workers exposed to a variety of common but avoidable hazards associated with construction work, notably falls and electric shocks,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that hazards on construction sites can be dangerous and potentially deadly. Many of these hazards can disable or kill a worker in a matter of seconds. Employers are required to make sure that all equipment is proper safe guarded at all times and that the proper preventative measures are taken to protect all employees. Jobs should be inspected before they even begin to make sure that all of the protective equipment is provided for workers.

The general contractor in this case was fined with more than $25,000 in fines for a number of serious violations. The company was observed exposing workers to falls of up to 20 feet. It was also cited for having an ungrounded power generator, for not properly securing or marking hole covers on the roof, for failing to make sure that there were enough fire extinguishers on the job and for not completing the proper safety inspections before work began.

The subcontractors were cited for a slew of violations, including:

-Exposing workers to falls.

-Not providing workers with the proper fall protection training.

-Not make sure that workers were properly disposing flammable substances.

-Failing to properly safeguard machinery.

-Failing to secure safe ladders on the work site.

-Improperly modifying trucks used to hoist up employees.

-Failing to provide workers with the proper fall protection.

-Failing to keep safety lanyards in good-working order.

-Misusing electrical equipment.

-Failing to properly label chemical containers.

In 2010, there were more than 4,500 people injured on the job in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction accidents accounted for more fatal work injuries than any other industry in 2010. For this reason, it’s imperative that employers thoroughly examine each work site before, during and after the job to make sure that all hazards are eliminated, that workers are properly trained and protected and that everything is running smoothly. When companies try to cut corners, employees are affected. Safety should be a number one concern of companies, supervisors and employees.

If you observe a hazard on the work site, you’re urged to speak up and alert a supervisor. You have a right as a worker in the United States to a safe work area. It’s federal law. Your concern and attention could help to prevent a serious, if not fatal, work accident.

Contact the Boston workers’ compensation attorneys if you have been injured on the job. Call (617) 777-7777 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Overlooked Home Work Hazards Pose Injury Risk in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 7, 2012

Workplace Violence a Threat in Massachusetts – Employers Beware, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 4, 2012

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