Later this month will begin the new three-month period in which employers have to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s new directive.
This new directive requires that all safety precautions for residential construction workers be enforced and practiced. These rules are to prevent falls and serious injuries from work accidents in Georgia and elsewhere throughout the United States.”We want to make sure that the residential construction industry has every opportunity to successfully come into compliance with the new directive,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “I am confident that this phase-in period will provide employers the additional time and flexibility they need to alter their work practices in accordance with the requirements of the new directive.”
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys understand that falls are common accidents on area work sites. Employers are required to take all of the necessary safety precautions and follow all safety regulations to prevent these accidents. If safety standards are not met, an employer can face serious consequences.
The three-month period will run from June 16 to Sept. 15. If employers fail to meet these regulations, they will receive a hazard alert letter. This letter will inform the employer how he or she can fully comply with the fall protection standard. If the employer still fails to meet the requirements, a citation will be issued.
“Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction. We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths,” Michaels said. “Almost every week, we see a worker killed from falling off a residential roof. We can stop these fatalities, and we must.”
OSHA is available to help employers meet these standards. It offers resources and guidance materials on its website for employers to reference. This website, that includes fall protection information, recently got more than 3,000 hits in a week.
The new directive, or the Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002), provides a full description of the new phase-in policy, a presentation and information about requirements for protecting workers from on-the-job falls.
Looking for even more help? OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program is here to help you with free and confidential advice for businesses in every state. This service gives priority to high-hazard work sites.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 600 fatal work falls in 2009. Roughly half of these falls happen in construction. There has been a recent decline in the number of fatal work falls — down 12 percent from 2008 — but the Bureau credits the decline in overall construction activity and employment for the drop.
If you have experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.