In Maryland and the rest of the U.S., the leading cause of death in the construction industry is falls. In 2014, about 40 percent of construction worker deaths were caused by a fall.
According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, if they are not provided with personal fall-arrest systems, scaffolding or guardrails, workers operating at a height of 6 feet are susceptible to falling. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that one in five deaths in the private industry were in construction. OSHA regulations are designed to protect against workplace injuries.
In one case of OSHA regulations not being followed, a plaster and stucco contractor that had previously been cited and fined in Arizona has allegedly again failed to provide a man and his fellow workers with fall safety equipment and scaffolding. A Texas construction worker died from a three-story fall while applying stucco to a balcony. The company has been cited by OSHA for four alleged serious violations and eight alleged egregious willful violations due to the company’s refusal to follow safety guidelines. Within 15 days, the company can comply with the $407,400 fines, challenge the findings or ask for a conference with OSHA.
If someone has been killed or hurt due a fall or other on-the-job-injury, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help them. An attorney could file the legal paperwork necessary to start their workers’ compensation claim. The attorney may also be able to aid the person in receiving the compensation they may be due.
Source: EHS Today, “OSHA: Unguarded Balcony, Lack of Fall Protection Caused Construction Worker Death”, Sandy Smith, Nov. 11, 2015