What Are Georgia’s OSHA Regulations?
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the country. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 to regulate job site conditions and require employers to provide safe work environments. OSHA has issued comprehensive construction safety regulations to help protect construction workers from serious or fatal injuries. As Georgia does not have a federally approved occupational safety and health program, federal OSHA regulations govern construction in our state.
OSHA regulations are designed to ensure worker safety in every aspect of the construction industry. These standards cover personal protective and life-saving equipment, fire protection and prevention, materials handling and storage, hand and power tool operation, welding and cutting, electrical, scaffolds, and fall protection. Many construction site injuries could be prevented if OSHA regulations were followed.
What Options Do Injured Construction Workers Have?
If you have been injured because of unsafe working conditions on a construction site in Georgia, you may have several possible options for seeking justice and compensation.
- Report safety violations to OSHA: After a serious construction injury caused by a failure to follow safety standards, you have the right to file a complaint with OSHA. The agency may investigate the incident, issue appropriate citations, and impose fines. This can help deter contractors from violating safety regulations in the future and help prevent other workers from being injured:
- File a workers’ compensation claim: If you were hurt on a construction site in Georgia, you should be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp should cover your medical expenses related to the injury and reimburse you for a portion of your lost wages. If the injury left you with long-term impairment, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer for damages.
- File a third-party lawsuit for compensation: Although workers’ compensation may prevent you from suing your employer, it may not be your only source of compensation after a serious construction accident. In some situations, a third party, such as a contractor, subcontractor, or manufacturer, causes a construction accident and injuries. If this is the case, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a lawsuit separate from your workers’ compensation claim. Our experienced construction accident attorney can explain your options under the law.
How can OSHA Regulations Influence Construction Accident Cases?
Personal injury claims are typically based on negligence. Evidence of OSHA safety standard violations that lead to a serious construction accident can serve as proof of negligence by the responsible party. For example, a third-party contractor that fails to properly secure a forklift personnel basket according to OSHA regulations and fails to provide workers with proper fall protection can be cited by OSHA and held liable in civil court for injuries from a resulting fall.
How Dangerous Is the Construction Industry in Georgia?
In 2021, the private construction industry had the highest number of worker fatalities in Georgia, as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A total of 40 construction workers suffered fatal injuries, up from 37 the previous year. Causes of fatal occupational injuries statewide in 2021 included:
- Slip or trip and falls (22)
- Falls to lower level (16)
- Exposure to electricity (8)
- Exposure to harmful substances (22)
How Can a Lawyer Help After a Serious Construction Accident?
At The Scott Pryor Law Group, we have a history of success for our clients. Founding attorney Scott Pryor has been awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. If you have been hurt on a construction site, we can help you pursue compensation for yourself and your family. Construction accidents can cause serious injuries, requiring extensive medical treatment and time away from work. We can investigate your accident and all available sources of compensation, including workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim if a third party is responsible for your accident and injuries. Contact us at (404) 474-7122.