While 2015 was not absent by any means of work-code and safety oriented violations, a most recent incident caused OSHA to cite a company in North Dakota $105,000 for failing to ensure multiple situational-awareness and safety hazards were in place, that proper personal protective gear was in place, and that work-hazards were minimized. While not uncommon, such instances seem to be on the rise in the past several years—or at least are becoming more easily reported and traceable.
An unsecured forklift platform was partially to blame, while the fact that the aforementioned worker involved also failed to be wearing any form of adequate fall protection equipment. Due to this, both his back and legs suffered serious injury, and the company has been assessed for liability and will reap the legal repercussions since it’s considered to be culpable in such instances.
Just as with any serious report of injury or work-place OSHA violations, investigators were sent out to the scene of the accident. Consequently, this individual was not the only worker in which was working in conditions that exceeded three stories or higher without adequate fall protection equipment in place. The fact that the forklift platforms were not secured to ensure safe operating conditions just added to the insult of violations in this case. Lastly, it was reported that this company per this job site in particular also failed to yield to regulatory criteria set forth by OSHA in properly setting up, securing, and utilizing scaffolds.
Cases like this are not uncommon. In fact, according to OSHA, more than one third of all fatalities and injuries are due to fall-related incidents. This continues to be a problem when personal fall protection, gear, and equipment utilization or installation is not applied with reputable integrity or form by the companies and their leadership or management in question. Recently, both contractors in Brooklyn, NY as well as Texas suffered OSHA citations easily topping $50,000.00 and continue to be on the rise through various work sites and companies to-date. If companies do not begin to take fall-related accidents and OSHA regulations more seriously at work-sites, it’s likely that penalties will continue to be increased. Businesses also always face the possibility of being shut-down or having their work and zoning permits suspended or removed in instances such as fall-related accidents—especially when involving fatality.
Just think, to prevent incidents such as these outlined, adequate personal fall protection equipment that meets OSHA’s equipment ‘tie-off’ requirements as simple as a product such as the BeamRunner could have prevented each and every one of these scenarios. This personal anchoring device which was invented and manufactured out of Bohemia, NY continues to serve as a practical solution for construction, electrical, and other labor workers whom are working at 3-stories or higher. This device allows them to install and utilize it’s functions with only one hand, and through it’s 4 1/15” conical teeth will penetrate carbon steel with a grip that resists up to a 5,000 impact force—much safer and much more than those working without any personal fall protection at all!
Image credit: Oleg Dudko