Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

OSHA inspects Pennsylvania construction site incident

After an incident occurs in the workplace, it is crucial to understand why it happened. A workplace accident should be properly investigated to ensure that all safety measures were being followed. In addition, it also may reveal that some updates and new training should be implemented in order to improve workplace safety. Employers seek to keep productivity high and want to reduce any delays in work. By ensuring health and safety in the work environment, employers can be assured that workers are protected from most work accidents and on-the-job injuries.

 

A recent tragedy that happened at a construction site in College Station sparked the investigation and examination of the work site by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That agency is seeking to understand why a trench collapsed on a worker, which led to his death. The process of this investigation will begin by looking at the competent person standard. This will reveal whether or not the construction company was liable for any part of the incident.

 

 

The process of investigation by OSHA will consider whether the company properly and daily conducted examinations of the trenches in order to keep them safe for workers. These examinations should involve looking at the soil type, water content in the soil, any environmental factors in the area, the proximity of other excavation projects that have been filled and other factors such as the weight of the equipment used on the site and the amount of vibrations caused from the machines.

 

Understanding the cause of a workplace accident is essential in improving and increasing the safety in the work environment. This might mean changing the process in which the workplace functions, which may be detrimental for employers in the beginning. They may need to obtain all new safety equipment and reconfigure safety training. Investigating work accidents is beneficial in keeping workers safe and reducing the need for workers' compensation benefits for injured workers.

 

Although workplaces seek to avoid any and all incidents from occurring, no work environment can prevent every accident from happening. What employers can do is learn from those incidents and improve the workplace in order to prevent that incident from reoccurring.

 

Source: The Eagle, "Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate construction worker's death," Maggie Kiely, May 31, 2013

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