Posts Tagged ‘training’

Earlier this year OSHA fined two construction companies over $115,000 following a crane accident that killed one worker and seriously injured another.  The construction companies were working on a bridge when the decedent was struck by the boom of a crane that overturned.  Another worker was seriously injured when he was ejected from the crane cab.

OSHA fined the construction company in charge of operating the crane $105,000 for one willful violation and five serious violations for allegedly failing to train workers regarding their roles and on ways to use signaling methods.  The company also allegedly failed to attach the crane to the proper barge and failed to implement or meet minimum requirements of a critical lift plan, including designating a lift conductor and organizing lift preparation meetings.

OSHA had inspected the company five times since 2009 and following the latest incident OSHA was placing the company on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on employers with willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.

The other company provided manpower for erecting girders on the project.  It was fined $13,200 for four serious violations including:  failing to develop an effective safety program, faling to conduct competent and qualified trainand failing to comply with crane operating standards.

The construction law attorneys at Harmon & Davies are here to assist contractors with developing effective safety programs and with contesting OSHA citations.  Above all, we care about our construction clients and we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for them to have the proper safety procedures in place to protect their workforce.

This article is authored by attorney Shannon O. Young and is intended for educational purposes and to give you general information and a general understanding of the law only, not to provide specific legal advice. Any particular questions should be directed to your legal counsel or, if you do not have one, please feel free to contact us.

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Posted in Construction, OSHA, Safety | No Comments »

Vigilant Against Violence

Workplace violence is a subject that most people do not like to discuss. After all, most times when workplace incidents make the news, they are shocking and frightening, and it’s simply easier to say “That will never happen here.” Unfortunately, that’s not always true, as nearly 2 million workers reported having been victims of workplace violence each year, with even more going unreported.

Federal laws only provide general guidance, in the form of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which requires employers to provide a safe workplace. While workplace violence is not always preventable, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce the risks and hopefully prevent a situation before it becomes dangerous, including:

  • Training managers and supervisors on the early warning signs of potential violence and how to address them
  • Implementing a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program
  • Clearly communicating to employees that the company wants to know when there are threats or incidents, and how serious the company is about handling issues
  • Making a good faith effort to investigate complaints where there is a reasonable concern that the employee’s behavior may cause harm to themselves or others
  • Considering additional security measures (sign-in desk, key-card systems, increased lighting, and video surveillance)
  • Identifying to all employees the contact person for communicating safety concerns or incidents

It is important to note, when preparing preventative measures, that workplace violence is not limited to employees; it also includes customers, clients and visitors.

Of course, while all of these measures will raise costs, it will likely be less expensive than the costs of a workplace violence incident. A 2006 study by Liberty Mutual reported assaults and violent acts as the 10th leading cost of non-fatal occupation injuries, at a cost of $400 million. Indirect costs, though difficult to quantify can include diverted attention and resources, loss of public trust, and reputational damage. Workplace violence can result in a number of legal actions against employers, including civil litigation, OSHA citations or fines and workers’ compensation. The key, as always, is finding a balanced approach that works for your particular business.

This article is authored by attorney Casey L. Sipe and is intended for educational purposes and to give you general information and a general understanding of the law only, not to provide specific legal advice.  Any particular questions should be directed to your legal counsel or, if you do not have one, please feel free to contact us.

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Posted in Labor & Employment, Uncategorized | No Comments »