In the construction world, slip and fall accidents make up a large portion of the fatalities that occur. According to EHSToday.com, there were 20,498 construction fatalities from 1992 to 2009, with 6,591 of those resulting from some sort of roofing accident. The numbers also show that 2,163 of all construction fatalities from 1992 to 2009 were the result of falls from roofs.
In New York City, the increase in the number of building permits being issued for new construction and large remodeling projects has put a spotlight on safety measures used to protect workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also using the new focus on construction in New York to send a message to repeat offenders that fall accidents can be prevented, and continued negligence will not be tolerated.
Brooklyn Company Violates Roof Safety Regulations
A recent construction project that involved working on a 20,000 square foot roof on a Westchester County elementary school has cost a repeat OSHA violation offender a lot of money. AMB Construction is a company based in Brooklyn, NY that has an OSHA history that includes two previous violations for inadequate safety measures. When OSHA visited the work site in Westchester and saw more violations, it decided to make an example of AMB Construction and set the tone for future projects.
OSHA wound up fining AMB Construction $113,300 for not supplying the proper safety equipment to its workers, and creating an unsafe working environment. When it handed down its fine, OSHA referenced AMB’s history of violations as a reason for the large penalty. AMB has the option of paying the fine, or appealing it to an independent safety board.
The Safety Solutions Are Very Simple
In most cases, roofing accidents can be prevented by taking very simple measures. Employers need to create ongoing training programs for workers to make sure that all job site safety rules are understood and utilized. The company needs to provide all of the necessary safety equipment to make sure that workers have everything they need to complete each task without the possibility of creating fall accidents. The final measure is to have workers and the company work together to develop a safe work area that reduces the possibility of construction fatalities.
When companies such as AMB Construction decide to ignore the proper safety steps, they are risking significant financial fines and possible revocation of their operating licenses. Considering how inexpensive the correct safety measures are when compared to the size of the fines OSHA is starting to hand out, it makes sense for companies to focus more on safety measures and less on cutting corners.
Construction Safety Is A Priority
The construction activity in New York City is picking up, and OSHA is keeping a close eye on the safety measures
companies are using on each job site. When there is a roof involved in a construction project, the chances of experiencing some sort of fall accident go up considerably. To help combat the possibility of construction fatalities on roofing projects, OSHA is starting to increase the frequency of its inspections, and increase the amount of money it fines repeat offenders.
When construction companies and their workers focus on safety, it saves lives and it saves money for the company. But when the company tries to cut corners on large roofing projects, the results can be disastrous. In New York City, construction companies were given a stark reminder by OSHA that roofing safety is important and that every company needs to take note if it wants to avoid costly fines in the future.