In 2013, 20 percent of all worker deaths across the United States occurred in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Many of these deaths involved contract workers, and it is important to understand that OSHA regulations hold both primary contractors and subcontractors responsible for any safety violations that lead to a worker’s injury or death. In fact, in addition to documenting the deaths of contract workers each month, the agency often publishes the citations and fines employers were issued for worker injuries, deaths or endangerments.
OSHA regulations clearly state that prime contractors are not absolved of safety compliance responsibilities for contract work performed on their work sites. The agency also emphasizes that subcontractors at all levels assume responsibility for safety compliance standards when they agree to perform contract work. To that end, OSHA indicates that all contracting parties will be held in joint responsibility for safety compliance.
Construction sites are considered to be one of the most hazardous environments for contract workers in the United States. In order to protect lives and avoid hefty fines, it is vital that prime contractors, subcontractors and individual workers educate themselves on safety standards and rigidly comply with all OSHA safety regulations.
Construction workers face many dangers on the job, including slips, trips, falls from another level and crushing hazards. Unfortunately, neck, spine and brain injuries are not uncommon. A worker who is hurt on a construction work site may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. An attorney could provide helpful information on documenting and filing a claim and might explain the other legal options that may be available.