In order to keep workers from being exploited by their employers, the federal government has enacted laws regulating employers conduct. Parts of these laws are safety regulations that help to prevent a workplace accident. These safety regulations ensure that employers are doing what they can to keep their employees safe. However, not every employer chooses to abide by these laws.
In a recent New York case, a Rochester based roofing company has been accused of violating safety regulations meant to keep workers safe. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, inspectors witnessed safety violations on multiple occasions on the roofing company’s job sites. These violations included failing to warn workers of the fall risks and exposing workers to hazardous fall risks. At a work site in Fairport, workers were supposedly working as high as 30 feet off the ground without guarded edges around the building. According to OSHA, this same roofing company was charged with similar violations in 2008.
As a result of this investigation, the company has been charged with a $160,000 fine. Under OSHA regulations, the company now has 15 days to respond to the charges or to comply with the safety regulations before further action is taken by OSHA.
OSHA takes the investigation and enforcement of safety regulations seriously. However, these investigations are meant to ensure compliance not necessarily to compensate workers who are injured. When workers are injured at work because their employers fail to follow safety regulations, these workers may have legal claims. For example, workers’ compensation may be available to help cover expenses related to the injury.
Source: Fairport-East Rochester Post, “Roofing contractor fined for safety hazards at Fairport work site,” Jan. 14, 2013