The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal body in charge of workplace safety across all industries, including construction.
The agency has existed since 1970 under the umbrella of the Department of Labor. It routinely conducts research on workplace safety, tracks all health and safety statistics in various fields of employment and enforces its safety standards through inspecting facilities and penalizing violators.
OSHA has safety standards for just about any safety issue imaginable. These standards can range from being very general to highly detailed. For example, the rules on fire safety are often very general and apply to all types of businesses. In all, there are a total of 28 categories of OSHA safety standards, the full text of which can be found here.
What happens if you violate OSHA regulations?
There are two primary consequences for companies that violate OSHA safety standards: disciplinary actions (typically fines) and/or liability in personal injury claims that arise due to a failure to meet OSHA standards.
OSHA’s enforcement infrastructure includes inspections that occur without any notice at all. These inspections can happen on site, over the phone or via fax. The most common inspection priorities include finding potentially imminent dangers, pinpointing catastrophes, investigating worker complaints and referrals, conducting targeted inspections on severe violators or companies that have high injury/illness rates and performing follow-up inspections on any of the offenders.
Commonly violated safety standards are related to scaffolding, fall protection, respiratory protection, hazard communication, electrical, ladders, machine guarding and powered industrial trucks.
To learn more about OSHA standards and how they could relate to your workplace accident, contact a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.