According to OSHA reports, workplace fatalities have decreased from a nationwide average of 38 daily in 1973 to 13 daily in 2014. However, serious occupational dangers still exist in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. This is especially true for the construction industry, which accounted for one in five of the workplace fatalities that occurred in 2014. For this reason, OSHA is increasing its fines on construction companies that break safety and health regulations.
One of the most common OSHA violations by construction industries is associated with a lack of fall protection involving scaffolds, portable ladders and guardrails. In fact, OSHA found that out of the nearly 900 construction workplace fatalities in 2014, about 360 of them happened because of fall-related violations.
Another common violation has to do with a lack of hazard communication. OSHA requires construction companies to document dangerous substances and materials used on worksites, such as silica dust and lead. The agency also requires those in charge of construction crews to warn their employees of these workplace hazards through training sessions, data sheets and standard labeling.
Many construction companies also face OSHA fines because they fail to train their employees regarding safety strategies. Employers must also verify the training in writing for each employee who has completed a course.
When employees experience an occupational injury that prevents them from returning to their job, they may be entitled to compensation for their work-related injuries. Compensation generally covers a portion of lost wages and medical expenses. Injured workers may wish to hire a lawyer who can help them through the filing process.