Employers have certain federal and state safety rules and regulations that they must obey. These laws are in place to prevent workplace accidents and to keep employees safe. Furthermore, these safety regulations are important to ensure that employers do not take advantage of employees. Employees have a right to go to work without fear of being injured.
However, despite these safety regulations some companies still refuse to follow them. In these cases OSHA steps in and is responsible for punishing the company. OSHA recently had to fine one New York company for safety violations. Blade Contracting, Inc. was recently fined $136,000 after a worker was injured. According to OSHA, an employee fell from a balcony on the sixth floor of a construction site. The employee was seriously injured.
After this accident, OSHA investigated and found seven violations. Two of these violations were apparently repeat violations for unsafe scaffolding and balconies. The company had been warned about them in 2007 and 2010. Furthermore, one of the violations was supposedly a willful violation.
A willful violation of OSHA regulations occurs when an employer knowingly chooses to ignore a safety regulation or acted in such a way that it was clear they did not care about employee safety.
Blade now has 15 days to respond to these allegations by OSHA. In any situation, willful violations are unacceptable. Workplace accidents are avoidable in many situations. Employers need to take steps to keep their workers safe.
When an employee is injured, they have the right to compensation. Workers compensation is available for employees that have been injured in workplace accident. This compensation can cover lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “OSHA Fines Company $136,000 for Fall Hazards,” Sept. 20, 2012