The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is a government agency within the United States Department of Labor that establishes rules, sets safety standards, and enforces regulations in workplaces all over the US. A violation of a standard set by OSHA is a violation of the law. In 2010, OSHA cited 96,742 violations across the country. Of these, 74,885 were considered serious, and 1,519 were deemed willful violations. Many of these occurred at construction sites. An employer who is cited for an OSHA workplace violation is subject to a heavy fine, work stoppage, and increased liability to injured workers. Hazardous work practices are often connected to employers or employees attempting to save money or time by taking short cuts. In fact, OSHA estimates that four out of five construction sites are guilty of some type of violation.
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully handled hundreds of construction accident cases over many years. If you have been injured in a construction accident, it may have been the direct result of an OSHA violation. Such a violation triggers increased liability on the part of the employer and indicates that you may qualify for a settlement above and beyond worker's compensation. Contact our Boston, Cambridge or Quincy office today at 617-225-2100 for a FREE evaluation of your case.OSHA Regulates A Wide Range Of Activities At A Construction Site
At a construction site, OSHA's main goal is to minimize injuries to workers and innocent bystanders. Its regulations cover issues such as the protective equipment worn by workers (hard hats, boots, and eye protection), safety precautions to protect employees working at a height (harnesses, ladders, and scaffolding), safety standards and inspection requirements for all machinery present on the site, and even the well-being of the workers (mandatory provision of water, maximum number of consecutive hours an employee can work, etc.).
Recent trends indicate that there are several OSHA violations frequently cited as having the most severe consequences. First, violations involving scaffolding are the most common in the United States. Injuries are likely to occur due to an overall lack of scaffolding in crucial areas or a failure to set guardrails. An employer's failure to take basic measures to protect its workers from falls often leads to severe and deadly consequences. Second, many accidents are related to grounded power lines. Numerous employers fail to ensure that their workers are not at risk for electrocution when working around overhead or underground power lines. Improper wiring methods and worn out equipment also pose a serious risk. Other major violations include those taking place during excavation work, failure to provide respiratory protection, and insufficient training for employees operating heavy machinery.Even A Small Violation Can Have Disastrous Results
Many serious injuries can result from the wide range of OSHA violations covered above (severe head trauma, paralysis, broken bones, severed limbs, electrocutions, death, etc.). Don't just settle for worker's compensation. When an OSHA violation occurs, you may be able to recover for injuries, lost wages, and future opportunity loss. Additionally, a third party may be at fault for negligence.
At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., we will investigate any potential source of liability to help you recover in a personal injury suit. Contact one of our experienced Boston construction accident attorneys today to help you understand your options.