CoatingsPro Magazine

SEP 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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28 SEPTEMBER 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Safety Watch C onstruction is dangerous, and oftentimes, our line of work can be deadly. Every single day, millions of construction workers step out onto the job and risk their lives for the benefit of the general public. ese men and women build the bridges that move traffic through our cities, they install the roofing systems that keep the rain from our offices and homes, and they fabricate the plumbing, electrical, and utilities that deliver the water and power needed to sustain our lives. Unfortunately, the services provided by the construction industry come to us at a very high price. Death and serious injury are common concerns for many contractors. When a business suffers a loss of life at a worksite, the repercus- sions and impacts of that tragedy will remain with the employer, the employ- ees, and the company for the rest of its existence. e emotional effect from a fatality or serious injury is by far one of the most profound factors that weighs on the company and its employees. However, once emotions subside and the grieving process begins, the employer must prepare to confront the legal conse- quences of this injury or fatality. An employer's first actions after a serious injury or fatality at the workplace should always include the following: 1. Report; 2. Investigate; 3. Abate. e employer is first required by law to report the injury or fatality to the nearest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office. Next, every employer should prepare a detailed accident investigation analysis for the purposes of capturing photo- graphs, written evidence, and testimony to determine how the accident occurred. Finally, the employer must take the necessary steps to abate the injury or fatality through the implementation of new training policies, updated equip- ment, and/or the creation of revised administrative controls. In our discussion on crisis manage- ment in the workplace, we will explore OSHA's reporting regulations and the legal burdens placed upon employers. Worksite Fatality OSHA has very strict reporting require- ments following an accident, injury, or fatality. An employer who ignores or neglects the reporting requirements may face extremely high penalties and repeated investigations from OSHA. e administration's current reporting regulations mandate that an employer report a workplace fatality within 8 hours, report an in-patient hospital- ization within 24 hours, and report the loss of an eye or an amputation within 24 hours. OSHA's reporting laws, like most legal matters, are not as straight- forward as one would hope, and oftentimes, many employers are left with more questions than answers following a serious injury or fatality. Here's an example: Our company suffered a fatality on a worksite, but I did not learn about The emotional effect from a fatality or serious injury is by far one of the most profound factors that weighs on the company and its employees. By Anthony David Tilton, Cotney Construction Law, LLP Addressing and Overcoming Death or Serious Injury in the Workplace

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