California workers rely heavily on their employers to provide workplace environments that are free of known safety hazards. Unfortunately, some business owners have little regard for the safety of their workers, and they seem to be oblivious to the consequences of workplace injuries. In many cases, companies continue to allow dangerous conditions to exist, despite citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A construction company in another state was recently added to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. It was reported that the company was recently fined $61,600 for failure to address life-threatening safety hazards. This was reportedly the third citation since 2013 that OSHA has issued for similar safety violations related to exposure to fall hazards.
OSHA reports that falls are the primary cause of fatalities among construction workers. It was reported that the company was involved in a housing project where the safety violations were found. OSHA inspectors found that this company's workers were expected to work on forklift platforms that were not secured to the forks of the machines and on roofs without being provided with fall protection. Companies that are regarded as severe violators after repeated safety violations will be subjected to random follow-up inspections by OSHA.
Construction work is a dangerous profession, and workers should not be exposed to unnecessary hazards. Some comfort is offered by the California workers' compensation program that provides benefits to workers who have suffered workplace injuries. All medical expenses are typically covered by the benefits, along with a portion of lost wages. Workers whose injuries caused permanent or temporary disabilities may be eligible for additional compensation.
Source: lancasteronline.com, "OSHA fines Kinzers contractor $61,600 for 'serious' safety violations", Tim Mekeel, Nov. 5, 2015