A Georgia company has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration for allegedly exposing workers to potential fall hazards on a construction site.
Georgia workers are entitled to work in a safe environment and their companies are required to make that happen. There are local, state and federal regulations they must follow in setting up work sites throughout the state. Failure to adhere to these rules can lead to major fines, as in this case.
But for some workers, their company’s failure to adhere to these rules can not only cost fines, but lead to serious work injuries that can result in Georgia workers’ compensation claims. Our Georgia work injury lawyers recognize that workers are injured on the job because their companies fail to properly keep them safe, exposing them to potentially deadly outcomes in the wrong situation.
In this case, Hutchinson Stucco Inc. of Brunswick, Georgia, was cited for 11 safety violations after OSHA officials inspected a work site. Workers were exposed to potential fall hazards, the government agency states, while they worked on a three-story building. The agency has proposed penalties of $62,200 for the alleged violations.
At issue in this case is an allegation that the company required workers to use a scaffolding system that officials said wasn’t fully planked, had missing base plates and guardrails, was built by a person who wasn’t fully trained or prepared to do it and which had no safety net.
OSHA officials allege that these offenses were repeat violations that resulted in $54,000 in fines to the company. On top of the violation regarding the scaffolding, authorities allege company officials didn’t have a safety data sheet available to workers who were mixing and applying stucco cement. Workers were allowed to opt out of using head protection and employees who mixed chemicals weren’t trained in hazardous chemicals.
OSHA officials cited the company for similar violations in April 2008, meaning they qualify as repeat violations. Two serious violations alleged by the agency relate to failing to have a ladder on the scaffolding to act as an exit and allowing their employees to work on scaffolding with planks directly attached to the roof without a fall protection system set up.
Workers were constructing a three-story building on St. Simons Island, the agency reports. The company has two weeks to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s regional director or contest the findings before a panel.
These are serious violations because fall accidents from faulty scaffolding are fairly common. Construction workers are acutely aware that working on an unstable platform while trying to perform detail-oriented work is a bad combination. Scaffolding that can collapse can lead not only to serious injuries, but possible death. This is unacceptable. Companies must ensure their workers are protected from fall hazards on Georgia work sites.
If you or someone you love suffered a work injury or needs to file a disability claim in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.
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