Construction workers face many hazards every day on the job. Falling pieces of debris, such as concrete and rebar, can cause serious head injuries—even for those wearing helmets. As well, power tools and heavy vehicles pose obvious risks; however, none of those hazards hold the top spot in terms of workplace accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that more than one-third of fatal workplace accidents are caused by falls. In 2012, 279 workers died due to falling on the job. These falls range from 5 or 6 feet after a slip from a ladder to more than 100 feet when workers fall from cranes.
OSHA recently completed an investigation that began after a fall killed a worker earlier this year. King 5 News reports that Aaron Adair died after falling approximately 50 feet from a 10-story apartment building that was under construction. Adair was a welder, and he tripped over his equipment while working on the fifth floor. One of his co-workers discovered his body shortly after the incident.
OSHA Fined Several Companies After the Construction Accident
The original reports say the death was purely accidental, detailing that Adair had unclipped his safety harness and was walking to a new location when he tripped and fell, but OSHA investigators determined there was more to the story. In addition to other misstatements, the height of the fall was revised to 72 feet. As well, OSHA investigators concluded that Adair did not have access to proper safety equipment, and he was not properly trained in fall prevention.
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that OSHA fined three separate contractors for the accident. The fines total more than $250,000. Each company received three willful violations, indicating that federal investigators believe management knew about the risks and chose not to do anything to remedy them.
If you need to take time away from work to heal after a construction accident, it’s important that you consult a workers-compensation lawyer to ensure your application has the best chance of success. At USAttorneys, we are committed to helping workers all over the nation connect with experienced workers-comp lawyers. To learn more about our service, call us at 1-866-223-6333.
The Companies Plan to Appeal the Citations
The management of each company says that the “willful” classification is unwarranted, and they plan to appeal OSHA’s decision. It’s unclear whether or not the fines had anything to do with a second accident that occurred only days after Adair’s.
KIROTV News reports that another worker suffered a serious head injury at the apartment building and required hospitalization. Furthermore, in November 2013, inspectors investigated an employee complaint that there wasn’t adequate fall protection in place at the site.
If you are looking for a workers-comp lawyer after a construction accident, we can help. We’ll arrange a free consultation with an experienced attorney near you. All you need to do is call us at 1-866-223-6333.