The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or “OSHA”) was formed to enforce minimum safety standards in the workplace. It promulgates rules that employers must obey or face fines. These rules are important especially in dangerous industries, like construction. They protect workers and save lives. Unfortunately one company, Southern Pan, decided to ignore the rules and as a result one of their projects collapsed, killing one worker.
Whenever there are workplace injuries, OSHA investigates them to ensure that all safety procedures were followed. OSHA especially checks up on construction sites to confirm that everything is above board. One of those rules is that garages and other structures must be supported with shores to prevent them from collapsing. Southern Pan chose to remove several shores from the first and second floors of a six-story garage complex they were building.
Predictably, the garage collapsed. Tragically, 20 workers were injured and another killed. OSHA launched an investigation and filed a lawsuit against the company. Earlier this year they succeeded in establishing that the company violated two safety procedures and required Southern Pan to pay a fine of $125,000. But It is likely of little consolation for the families of the workers who were killed or injured.
While this tragedy transpired in Florida, it is the kind of event that could happen anywhere, even Missouri. If you were injured because your employer cut corners in safety procedures then you may want to speak to an attorney. You have several choices in this situation, not all of them are exclusive. You can file a complaint with OSHA, file for workers’ compensation or pursue litigation. A lawyer can go over the various choices with you so that you make the best decision for you and your family.
Source: Department of Labor, “Cutting Corners in Construction Costs Lives,” Dane Steffenson and Melanie Stratton, May 24, 2016