Construction Company Under Fire From OSHA After Employee’s 19 Foot Fall

oshaThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a contractor in West Virginia for $86,000 for multiple safety hazards following a worker’s fall from a roof while on the job.

Benco Builders of the Virginias Inc. has been cited on several violations that could be contributing factors in the 19ft fall which resulted in serious injuries to an employee.

For Construction Pros reports Prentice Cline, OSHA’s Charleston Area Office Director as saying, “Falls remain the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry. Employers must provide proper fall protection and follow all safety requirements to prevent incidents like this from occurring.”

Without proper safety equipment, a worker will fall up to seven feet in just two-thirds of a second, and OSHA has strict rules about the use of fall protection. This worker was roughly 19 feet off the ground, and no OSHA recommended precautions were taken. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for contractors to work on roofs without fall protection or fall arrest equipment, and OSHA can’t be on every job site at once.

When an OSHA inspector visited a Benco worksite, the problems became even more apparent. Aside from the blatant failure to provide workers with fall arrest gear, eight other citations were written for a variety of violations.

As for the victim of these violations, he will be entitled to workers’ compensation even though West Virginia isn’t one of the 74% of states that require all businesses to provide it. The exceptions from workers’ comp laws in West Virginia are for very small business, and this contracting firm is above the requisite size.

OSHA violations happen all the time. In fact, home department store chain Rural King in Jeffersonville, Indiana was fined $14,000 after an employee filed a complaint at the end of November.

Overall Rural King was fined for seven different violations, six of which were classified as severe. No one was hurt even though they were cited for having an untrained employee operate a forklift and a missing guardrail on an upper level with a drop of over eight feet. The lack of any injuries at this ware could be attributed to the mindful employee who filed the complaint.

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