US Labor Department's OSHA exposes safety and health hazards at
construction sites through no-notice incident prevention campaign
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded its 2012 "Construction Incident Prevention Initiative," during which it issued 243 citations and assessed a total of $658,862 in proposed fines to companies on construction sites throughout the agency's Philadelphia Region.
The four-month campaign included 545 no-notice inspections focused on falls, trenches and silica exposure. Fifty-nine percent of the inspections revealed violations, some of the most common of which are failing to use fall protection when working on roofs, ensure that scaffolds are constructed safely and protect trenches from collapse.
"This alarmingly high number of violations underscores the need for employers in the construction industry to make a stronger commitment to workplace safety and health," said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA's regional administrator in Philadelphia. "Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so."
OSHA's Philadelphia Region, which encompasses Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, had a total of 43 construction-related fatalities in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, with 18 attributed to falls.
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a national campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers across the United States were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent dangers to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.