Maryland workers in high-risk occupations may be able to learn a lesson from a conference spearheaded by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. The February 2016 workshop brought a number of representatives from the communication tower industry together to highlight ongoing safety issues. Although factors like work-site design were revealed to impact safety, employer operating standards also played significant roles.
OSHA said that 36 workers perished in communication tower falls and other related accidents between 2011 and 2015. One factor that could have contributed to these statistics is the fact that many work sites may lack proper direction due to overuse of subcontracting. Industry safety advocates claimed the situation was so out of hand that in some cases, it was hard to determine who was in charge of a given job or whether they even had the proper insurance and credentials to do the work at hand.
Some owners rejected the notion that they should be responsible for outfitting their facilities with additional safety equipment, and one asserted that independent auditors ought to be employed to check sites for safety and evaluate subcontractor practices. Other common themes included the idea that many employers were willing to take shortcuts to get jobs done quickly and overlook insufficient qualifications when time and money were on the line.
Employers, site managers and property owners may attempt to shift the blame when it comes to who should be held responsible for workplace accidents. In addition to impacting safety protocol, these trends may hinder workers who attempt to seek care after getting hurt. Victims of industrial workers’ accidents may find it wise to establish the details of their cases by documenting their evidence extensively and having the assistance of an attorney when preparing and filing a workers’ compensation claim.