The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.”OSHA regulations are the law of the land when it comes to preventing workers from being killed or harmed at work. Construction workers in New York City have the right to a safe workplace as specified by OSHA construction site requirements and are also guaranteed general workers’ rights under the OSH Act.New York private sector construction workers are covered by federal OSHA regulations, while public sector construction workers are covered by the OSHA-approved New York State Plan.
OSHA Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
OSHA construction industry standards make up one of the four groups of OSHA standards. Meant to address the leading hazards at construction sites, the standards specify worker protections for safety categories that include:
- Fall protection
- Stairways and ladders
- Trenching and excavation
- Motor vehicle safety
- Hand and power tools
- Signs, signals and tags
- Personal protective equipment.
The full list of OSHA safety and health regulations for construction can be found here. Any hazard that isn’t explicitly addressed by an OSHA standard should be covered by the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act.
Workers’ Rights Under the OSH Act
The OSH Act provides workers with a framework for participating in their protection from job hazards. Among those protections provided under the act are the rights to:
- File a confidential complaint with OSHA requesting a workplace inspection.
- Receive training and information about workplace hazards, methods to prevent harm and applicable OSHA standards.
- Review records of workplace injuries and illnesses.
- Receive copies of tests and monitoring results that measure workplace hazards.
- Obtain copies of their workplace medical records.
- Whistleblower protection.
A complete overview of workers’ rights under the OSH Act can be found here.
When OSHA construction industry standards are not followed, serious harm can befall workers. Approximately 20 percent of all worker fatalities occur in construction. The standards most frequently violated include those related to fall protection, scaffolding, respiratory protection, ladders and hazard communication.
While federal law ensures all workers the right to a safe workplace, some employers fail to live up to their obligations and serious accidents result.
If you were hurt at a construction site, you can discuss the accident free of charge with the construction accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York City. Call us now or fill out our online contact form.