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Authorities' crackdown aimed at preventing construction accidents

A number of federal and state organizations, including agencies in Pennsylvania, are cracking down on contractors in hopes of increasing safety in the workplace and reducing the number of construction accidents. The consequences contractors may face if they become the subjects of this crackdown include fines, legal actions, and even criminal charges. While contractors may not see the upside to this new push, workers will definitely benefit from a decrease in the number of construction accidents.

An article in a construction-industry publication lists several areas that are the focuses of the government effort, and safety is one of them. Late last year, OSHA officials made it clear to contractors that endangering employees willfully is not going to be tolerated. In one case, a company and its manager were fined nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos.

OSHA did not stop there. In one case, a workplace fatality landed construction company leaders in prison for two years. In another case, a man who owned a roofing company was indicted on federal charges after a workplace death when it came to light that he had reportedly instructed employees to lie to OSHA inspectors about fall-protection usage.

Hopefully, the push from OSHA and other agencies will help prevent construction accidents in Pennsylvania and other states from happening in the future. Fortunately, for those who have already sustained injuries in construction accidents, workers' compensation benefits are available. Workers' compensation can be instrumental in ensuring the financial stability of injured workers and their families.

Source: constructiondive.com, "The coming crackdown: Why penalties for construction owners are on the rise," Kim Slowey, Oct. 19, 2015

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