This blog post is about noticing safety violations and making sure you take care of them right away.
A company in Puyallup, Washington got a few safety citations, but then, to make matters worse, they got more citations for not handling the first ones properly.
Anne Soiza, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said the following about the accident:
“Seven construction workers fell to their deaths last year in our state . Falls continue to be the leading cause of construction worker deaths and hospitalizations, and yet they are completely preventable by using proper fall protection and following safe work practices.”
The company got “willful violations,” meaning they had been cited before, for not providing fall protection for workers who were working near the edge of a 20 foot wall. The company had to pay $42,000 in penalties.
At the same time, they were cited for not having a plan for outlining fall hazards, for having an opening in a wall that workers could fall through, and for allowing workers to stand on the top cap and top rung of ladders.
What can we learn from this company’s mistakes?
-take care of citations
-deal with ladder safety
-importance of fall protection
The company was cited for two additional repeat/serious violations for not having railings on open-sided stairs to protect employees from falls ($5,600), and for not ensuring that employees wore hard hats where there was a danger of flying or falling objects ($4,200). They were also cited for a serious violation for not having safety springs on nail guns to protect against accidental discharges ($2,800).
The employer was cited for a third-time repeat-general violation with a $700 penalty for not conducting walk-around safety inspections, and a fourth-time repeat-general violation with a $1,120 penalty because no one onsite had a valid first-aid card. L&I also cited the company for two general violations that did not include monetary penalties.
Every year over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) is celebrating the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month, designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.