Work accidents in Georgia are preventable when employers take the proper safety precautions to eliminate potential hazards. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a number of Georgia companies were recently cited and fined after violations of safety standards were discovered.Our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys understand that nearly 5,000 people were killed in work-related accidents in the U.S. in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were nearly 4,000 employees injured on the job in Georgia in 2009. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if employers did a better job of making their work sites safer for employees.
A Doraville-based masonry contractor received several citations and fines of more than $164,000 for safety violations at several work sites in Conyers and Sugar Hill. Of these violations, four were received for repeat issues. These included failing to provide platforms and guardrails to prevent workers from falling; lack of toe boards; lack of ladders; lack of face and eye protection; and exposing workers to dangerous mixer blades.
They were also issued numerous violations for failing to enact a hazard communications program, for not keeping copies of safety information sheets and for failing to discuss hazardous chemicals with workers. Lastly, they were given an other-than-serious citation for neglecting to make sure that all industrial truck operators were trained and certified.
This concrete producer in Gainesville was handed nearly 20 health and safety violations that totaled more than $120,000 for failing to protect employees from a work-related accident. One willful safety violation was issued because the company made employees perform maintenance on vehicles and equipment within three feet of an open and unguarded pit. OSHA felt that these conditions made their risks of a fall accident extremely high. They were also handed six repeat violations for neglecting to properly mark the signs at the facility’s fire exit doors; neglecting to remove equipment that was blocking exit routes; failing to provide proper tagout/lockout training to workers who perform maintenance on equipment and machinery; failing to block off an unused opening in an electrical panel; and for not properly protecting workers from various electrical shock hazards.
The company’s Tifton construction site was cited 14 times and fined more than $55,000 because the company failed to protect workers from various fall hazards; failed to use ladders that extended more than 36 inches past the upper landing surface of a roof; used an extension ladder that was cracked and had missing and broken parts; and failed to require employees to wear eye protection when needed. These were all repeat violations. It was also handed a number of serious violations for exposing workers to fall hazards; letting forklift workers go without a lanyard and a body belt; and didn’t require employees to use head protection in hazardous areas.
Employers are required to take all of the proper safety precautions to help prevent work-related accidents that could injure or kill anyone on a work site. If a company fails to take any of these precautions, it will be cited by OSHA and the company will be required to pay the consequences.
If you have been injured at work in Atlanta or in any of the surrounding areas 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.