NJ construction workers are exposed to hazards at work every day, and a common dangerous condition is a fall hazard. Falls from heights and elevations are one of the four leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry.
Related Case Result: Roofer Falls From Roof - $3,300,000 Settlement
In an effort to protect workers from falls and to reduce the risks of fall hazards, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised many of its fall protection standards and implemented programs in hopes of reducing fall accidents.
One of the programs OSHA implemented is the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). The program focuses on employer contractors that consistently put their workers/employees at risk of accidents by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. The program also allows OSHA to inspect the employers’ construction sites or facilities if it has reasonable belief that there are similar violations.
There is even a program specifically aimed to reduce the risk of fall hazards called the Local Emphasis Program (LEP). The program is designed to increase inspection activity at construction sites where potential fall hazards exist.
Sadly, despite all of OSHA’s efforts, employers continue to ignore OSHA’s citations and programs. Even after being slapped with heavy financial penalties, employers continue to expose their workers to hazards and fall hazards.
In January of this year, a Paterson, NJ based contractor was cited again by OSHA for two repeat and two serious safety violations involving fall protection. *Source: www.osha.gov. F&G Sons Contractors Inc. allegedly did not provide its workers with the required protective equipment. Further, workers were not protected from serious fall hazards. OSHA previously cited this company in 2009 and 2010 for similar violations resulting in $108,640 in proposed penalties. We told you about their most recent similar citation in March of last year. See New Jersey Contractor Cited For Scaffolding And Fall Hazards|NJ Workplace Accident Lawyers
Though NJ workers generally cannot sue their employers for work injuries sustained while at work pursuant to workers’ compensation law, there are limited exceptions when employees can sue their employers. If the employer commits an intentional act that caused the accident and injuries sustained by the employees, the injured employees may sue the employer.
In the case of this NJ contractor, there certainly seems to be an argument that it is committing an intentional act by continuously and flagrantly ignoring OSHA’s citations and exposing its workers to fall hazards.
If you or a loved one was injured in a fall accident at work, feel free to call Daniel J O’Brien to schedule a free consultation. Dan has helped many workers who were injured at work due to inadequate fall protection. Call today to schedule a free consultation at 877.944.8396.