Local Roofing and Construction Companies Face New Directive to Help Reduce Boston Work Accidents

“Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of death in construction,” said Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “These deaths are preventable, and we must prevent them.”

Ironically, the National Roofing Contractor Association challenged OSHA’S directive on the use of fall protection in residential construction. The December 2010 directive withdrew a previous one allowing residential construction employers to ignore some of the fall protection requirements, according to a United States Department of Labor press release. The challenger was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Our Boston workers compensation lawyers would like to stress the safety concerns on our construction sites in the area. It is important for employers to abide by and enforce all safety precautions provided by OSHA as they are mandated to help keep our workers safe and help prevent fall accidents.

“Fall protection saves lives,” said Michaels. “There are effective means available to protect residential construction workers from falls. We applaud the court’s decision upholding this updated, commonsense directive.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 800 lives were lost as a result from workplace falls in 2008. Falls from roofing accidents were down 26 percent and falls from ladders decreased by 14 percent. The Bureau estimates that residential roofing falls count for approximately 40 worker deaths a year. In attempt to further protect our workers, roofing and construction companies are now required to comply with new directives by June 16.

With the new directive, companies must abide by the following to help keep their employees safe and help them avoid the potentially fatal fall accidents:

-Employees working 6-feet or above, must use guardrails, personal fall arrest systems or safety nets.

-Employers may use other fall protection measures, such as the use of warning lines and safety monitoring systems for performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs.

-If an employer can prove that the use of conventional fall protection methods increase the probability of a fall, then a written, site-specific fall protection plan must be presented documenting detailed reasons why the system would be more dangerous.

If you have been injured at work in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts trucking accidents a common cause of workers’ compensation, personal injury, wrongful death claims, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2010

Massachusetts work accidents, car accidents, a danger in road construction zones, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 12, 2010

Massachusetts Hopes New System will Decrease Risks of Boston Work Zone Accidents, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

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