Because construction workers face many hazards inherent to the industry, federal and state regulations guide many aspects of how a construction site must be run. The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has numerous rules that apply to workplaces in America. In New York and New Jersey, the states’ labor departments have additional rules and regulations for construction sites.
OSHA regulations cover many topics. OSHA has set standards for workplace training, safety equipment, maintenance and inspections of equipment and the workplace itself. When an OSHA standard has been violated at a construction site and workers are injured or killed, the individuals and corporations responsible for the violation should be held financially accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of an OSHA violation or another case of inadequate safety precautions at a construction site in New York or New Jersey, you need to talk to a construction injury lawyer at the Ginarte law firm today. The NY / NJ construction injury lawyers at the Ginarte law firm have for decades investigated a variety of OSHA violation cases. Call now for a free consultation at 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783), or fill out our online contact form.
Worksite Injuries Caused by OSHA Violations
Employers, property owners, prime contractors, subcontractors, vendors and others must comply with all OSHA standards applicable to their work situation. They must also follow the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.
Unfortunately, violations of OSHA standards, and therefore a lack of proper safety precautions at New York and New Jersey construction sites occur too often. OSHA’s Top 10 most frequently cited violations from Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011, were:
- Scaffolding – A Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study said 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
- Fall protection – Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of 6 feet in the construction industry.
- Hazard communication – All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
- Respiratory protection – Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases or death.
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) – Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal and other energy sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees.
- Electrical wiring methods – Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions.
- Powered industrial trucks – Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks, are used to raise, lower or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates or other containers. Workers can be injured while driving forklifts and lift trucks, by being hit by them or when they fall while on elevated pallets and tines.
- Ladders – Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Employers must make sure that ladders are safe for use by selecting the right ladder for the job and making sure ladders are maintained. Workers must get training on ladder safety.
- Electrical system design – Engineers, electricians and others on a construction site work directly with electricity. Electrical system design includes proper use and identification of grounded and grounding conductors.
- Machine guarding – Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries.
Many property owners, site developers, general contractors and subcontractors compromise the safety of workers in order to save money. They provide workers with safety equipment that does not comply with the law, or they do not provide any safety protection at all. Because time is money, training is given short shrift or is disregarded altogether. Such practices have resulted in severe injuries and even death for many construction workers in New York and New Jersey.
An OSHA violation or other evidence of inadequate safety precautions at a construction site could be grounds for a construction accident lawsuit. The Ginarte law firm often uses OSHA violations to show that a responsible party should pay for a worker’s injuries.
The NY / NJ construction accident lawyers at the Ginarte law firm work with teams of construction site experts, engineers and site investigators to determine whether OSHA rules or other safety standards were violated, resulting in a construction site accident. We also work with many doctors, surgeons, therapists and medical centers in New York and New Jersey to determine what sort of medical expenses an injured worker faces.
Contact Our NY / NJ Workplace Safety Lawyers Today
If you have been hurt because of inadequate safety precautions or violations of OSHA standards at a construction site, the NY / NJ construction accident lawyers at the Ginarte law firm can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses. We have 30 attorneys ready to help you with your construction accident claim.
Call today or visit one of our seven NY / NJ offices: Newark, New York City, Union City, Elizabeth, Clifton and Perth Amboy.