The Occupational Safety and Health Administration runs regional emphasis programs throughout the year. They use these programs to focus on certain employee safety issues by carrying out random inspections to check compliance with safety regulations. As part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction, an investigation at a Florida roofing company led to a significant fine. Thousands of dollars are paid out for workers’ compensation benefits claims of fall victims every year.
Falling over the edges of roofs are not the only hazards that roof workers face. Skylights and hatches form additional fall hazards, and employers in this industry must provide the necessary safety training, personal protective equipment and safeguards. According to prescribed safety regulations, anyone working at a height that exceeds six feet must have fall protection.
OSHA’s compliance inspectors reported that employees of this company worked on a roof without fall-arrest equipment, and there were no guardrails or safety nets in place. Other safety violations included the lack of written certification to prove that workers received fall protection training. Furthermore, the company failed to appoint a competent person to carry out frequent safety inspections on the job site, equipment and materials.
Too many roof workers in Florida suffer fall-related injuries — often with long-term consequences. Fortunately, financial relief is available through the workers’ compensation insurance system. The claims procedure might seem overwhelming, but an attorney who is experienced in protecting the rights of injured employees can assist in the pursuit of compensation. Benefits typically include medical expenses, lost wages and any other applicable benefits based on the severity of the injury.