Illinois Fall Protection Citation Results in High Penalties for Employers when Exposing Workers to Falls
Illinois Fall Protection Citation
Recently in February of 2018, in a suburb outside of Chicago, a General Contractor received an Illinois Fall Protection citation for exposing workers to fall hazards. As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the contractor may face fines exceeding $250,000 “for four willful and three repeated violations,” for failing to install fall protection systems, ensure the use of protective devices, and train workers in fall protection hazards.
In addition to the fall protection hazards, OSHA also cited the General Contractor for failing to require the use of safety glasses by employees when operating a nail gun. The press release cites the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, stating that “employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.”
While job-site posters and signs tote common catch phrases like, “Safety starts with you,” “Safety first,” or “Everyone is responsible for Safety,” the blame often falls on the employer.
Beyond the most severe consequence, potential for detrimental accident or injury of the workers, OSHA citations result in lost time on the project, higher cost and severe penalties for the employer.
It is absolutely worth the upfront time and money to take preventative action, otherwise you’re at risk for safety accidents and high penalties down the road. Employers, take initiative to protect yourself and your workers.
It’s true, everyone must be responsible for safety, but it must start with the employer providing a safe work environment with proper SOGs, safety plans, training, equipment, and personnel. An accident can happen at anytime and that liability falls on the employer.
OSHA Article: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region5/02212018