OSHA inspectors slapped steel contractor National Store Fixtures Division of United Fixtures in South Bend with a $79,500 fine for failing to protect workers at a construction site last year.
Following a tip, OSHA conducted a site inspection and found employees working more than 15 feet off the ground without fall protection while installing steel walls. OSHA issued one willful citation, carrying the maximum fine of $70,000.
“This employer knew fall protection was required for these employees yet did not require them to use it, even though falls are the number one killer in construction work,” an OSHA spokesperson said. OSHA fined the contractor further for not providing a ladder or fall-protection training.
Tip: You’re required to provide employees with a safe working environment. That includes following all OSHA rules. If you don’t already have one, consider creating a safety committee to address concerns. Wouldn’t it be better to hear complaints directly from employees (and deal with them) than to receive a surprise snap inspection based on an anonymous tip? Plus, many insurance carriers will give you a discount if you have a safety committee in place.
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