The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today that it issued citations to Best Florida Construction Inc., a contractor based in Tampa, Florida, for purported health and safety problems, following a February investigation.
OSHA undertook the inspection within the agency's Local Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, an initiative that began in April by U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to combat the roughly 10,000 fall-related injuries and 250 deaths sustained per year in the U.S. building industry. The program is a joint effort started with the National Institute of Occupational Health.
The issues identified by OSHA include the failure to equip employees with fall protection equipment, conduct training exercises about the dangers of falling and issue eye protection and face protection gear to nail gun operators at the worksite.
"Falls continue to be a leading cause of workplace fatalities in the construction industry," Brian Sturtecky, area director for the Jacksonville OSHA office. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers have proper safety protection, and work environments are healthful and safe."
Best Florida Construction, like other businesses that receive infractions from the federal safety agency, has 15 business days to respond to the allegations. The company can choose to comply with the citations and make the necessary changes, appeal the charges before an independent occupational health commission or take its case to the OSHA office that conducted the investigation.
Fall protection is an important part of any construction business' health-related duties. Ensuring that jobsites are safe and that employees have the proper equipment can help companies avoid trouble and allow them to focus on growth.
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