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OSHA inspectors to watch contractors for fall hazards

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Southeast regional offices of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will increase enforcement efforts aimed at reducing an upward trend in construction-related fall fatalities.

Falls are one of the four leading causes of employee fatalities in the Southeast, according to OSHA.

Beginning Aug. 20, OSHA will be identifying sites throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi that may be exposing workers to fall hazards and conducting unannounced inspections at those sites. Additionally, all other hazards in plain sight will be addressed during the inspections.

“OSHA’s goal is to raise awareness about fall hazards and eliminate those conditions that lead to employee deaths,” said Cindy Coe, the agency’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “Our compliance officers will conduct immediate inspections when they observe employees working from elevation without fall protection.”

OSHA has various special emphasis programs that allow inspections to be opened immediately when safety and health hazards are observed at a work site, including a regional program in the Southeast on falls in construction. The programs also include separate outreach, education and training components for employers and employees.

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