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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts in construction.

Those of you who follow the FP Workplace safety blog or the howardmavity.com site know that I try to generate new product every few days but have of late been conspicuously silent. Part of the reason is that I have been on the road to speak at various safety-related conferences. I was impressed by the groups’ efforts and I learned from the attendees and presenters. Please support such groups’ efforts.

EHS Today just reported that the Philadelphia District Attorney is taking the unusual step of charging two contractors for crimes ranging from multiple murder and manslaughter charges to risking a catastrophe as a result of the fatal collapse of the Philadelphia building last June, that killed 6 people and injured 14.

Next week, EHS Today hosts its second annual conference and celebration of the recipients of the 2013 Safest Companies In America award. Last year’s first time conference was the best safety event I have attended; mainly because the presenters and attendees were some of the most recognized companies in America for safety success. The multiple educational tracks were outstanding, but the time spent with attendees and fellow presenters at dinner and over drinks was even more useful. One can genuinely learn from attendees, and yes, I’ll be buying drinks again on behalf of Fisher Phillips, so come see us.

Many employees work alone at a customer’s site or on the road with no immediate supervision or the presence of a safety professional to check for hazards. Some employees, such as journeymen electricians and certified crane operators are trained to operate with minimal supervision. Other workers may be less trained or less equipped to individually analyze their setting. Unfortunately, both types of isolated workers may violate OSHA standards, and preventing that misconduct is more of a problem when employees are working alone.

Despite having handled nearly 500 workplace fatalities, I once found myself hanging three stories from a gutter because I had wedged a piece of firewood under my ladder rather than taking five minutes to properly set it. Why does a skilled person with awareness of the dangers of cutting corners nonetheless take unnecessary risks?

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