Are You In Compliance?
In the 2010 calendar year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a total of 635 fatal falls occurred in the United States. While this number is significantly decreased from its peak in 2008 (847 falls), much of this decline in falls was brought on by the recession rather than improved safety practices. At a rate of nearly two fatalities per day, falls account for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from accidents. It is for this reason that OSHA requires that fall protection be provided anytime a worker is at a height of more than four feet in general industry, five feet in maritime, and six feet in construction.
With a recent increase in funding, the following updates have been provided by OSHA:
- The average OSHA penalty for a serious violation more than doubled in 2011 to more than $2,132 per violation
-The number of $100k+ penalties increased to 215 in 2011 (nearly a 30% year-over-year increase)
-In 2011, OSHA increased staff with 177 new investigators with a strict focus on vigorous enforcement strategies