Although the risks of construction work may seem apparent — after all, big equipment, scaffolding and heavy building materials may be involved — there continue to be an unacceptable number of construction injuries each year.
A recent example involves an Oklahoma home building company. A spokesperson for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that the agency is investigating the accident. The spokesperson also identified the company at issue as Champion Homes, a home building company with a 20-year history in Oklahoma.
According to reports, two workers were in the platform area of a forklift when the machinery toppled over. The workers were apparently trying to raise some building materials to a third worker on the rooftop. The accident injured all three workers. Although all three were transported to a local hospital, only the rooftop worker survived. The two workers who had been on the forklift platform did not survive their injuries.
By law, OSHA may take up to six months to complete its investigation. If the inspectors find a violation of safety standards, the home building company may be facing monetary penalties.
An attorney that focuses on workers’ compensation knows that workplace safety requires a proactive attitude. OSHA regulations may provide safety guidelines for particular industries, but each workplace may present its own particular hazards. If a worker has safety concerns but is afraid to voice them, a consultation with an attorney might be a safe and anonymous place to start. An attorney can advise a worker of his or her rights under existing workers’ compensation laws.
Source: Edmond Sun, “OSHA investigates Edmond forklift accident,” Mark Schlachtenhaufen, Sept. 30, 2014