OSHA oversees a great number of regulations in the construction industry that are meant to help secure the health and safety of injured workers in the construction industry. The OSHA safety regulations cover everything from the responsibility of various contractors working on the construction site to all health and safety regulations in the industry. The basic principle is that the general contractor has a non-delegable duty for the health and safety of the workers on the construction site.
In addition to that, OSHA regulations in the construction industry cover other issues such as housekeeping and how the construction site is to be maintained. It also covers issues such as safety involved with demolition, excavation, trenches, working at heights, and the requirement to have adequate personal safety equipment such as a harness or safety line. It covers hazards involved with working with electrical equipment, the presence of electrical lines, the requirements to have GFCI, generators, or GFCI electric cord connections so that workers are not exposed to the hazard of an electrical shock on the job site. There are many other areas covered by the OSHA safety regulations as well.
When a construction site accident occurs in Boston, it may be important to file an OSHA complaint. A well-versed construction accident attorney can help guide you through the process.
The Process of Filing a Complaint
The process of filing an OSHA complaint in Boston is pretty simple. OSHA has a telephone number on their website that any worker can call to report a dangerous condition. OSHA receives complaints of dangerous conditions, safety violations, and safety hazards. They can report to the job site to inspect the report and, if they find safety violations, can shut the job site down until the safety violation is fixed.
Whistleblowers in the construction industry are given protections. Reporting a potential safety violation to OSHA is done anonymously and OSHA does not reveal the identity in their reports or inspection files. OSHA protects the privacy and the identity of individuals who provide them with information concerning potential safety violations in the course of OSHA’s inspection and investigation.
OSHA would also become involved in a premises liability construction accident case if the accident resulted in a serious injury in which the injured worker had to be hospitalized. Oftentimes, the police responding to an accident will call OSHA who will respond and complete an inspection to determine if there were safety violations.
Penalties for OSHA Violations
OSHA can enforce penalties such as putting a stop-work order and pulling the permits to complete a construction project until any violations are corrected. OSHA follows their own internal guidelines in determining a monetary or dollar fine.
It is very common that the violator will enter a settlement agreement with OSHA, depending on their history of OSHA violations. OSHA will agree to a reduced fine in exchange for assurances and documentation that the violator has taken corrective measures and instituted some safety policies to prevent repeat offenses.
Proving Liability for an Accident
An OSHA violation could positively impact a claim from the injured worker’s standpoint. The violation of an OSHA safety regulation violation would constitute evidence of the contractors’ or the defendants’ negligence. It would be helpful in presenting and successfully negotiating a reasonable settlement or in litigating the case and prevailing at trial.
In addition to that, there could be a history of similar violations by that contractor, where they were fined by OSHA. If that is the case, that can be evidence of not only the defending contractor’s negligence in the case but that they had a similar violation before. That could further strengthen the liability argument and could help the injured party reach a favorable settlement before trial.
Learn More About Filing an OSHA Complaint After a Boston Construction Site Accident
OSHA is meant to help prevent Boston construction site accidents. As such, workers can report known hazards on a construction site that could potentially cause injuries or OSHA can become involved once an accident occurs. To discuss filing an OSHA complaint for an issue on a construction site, call today for a consultation.