OSHA’s Multi-Employer Citation Policy

Walter M. Wysowaty, PE, CME, Civil Engineering Consultant ::::
Case Facts: The plaintiff was employed by an environmental consultant who was responsible for work related to the removal of underground storage tanks (UST), including the collection of soil to be tested for contamination. A contractor qualified for excavations associated with UST’s performed soil excavation to remove the tank to a depth of somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. The resultant soil wall was generally vertical with some undermining that existed after removal of the tank. Shoring at the excavation was not installed. The plaintiff testified that he did not feel that excavation was safe, yet approached the top elevation of the excavation to collect various data. While standing at the top elevation, the soil wall failed resulting in injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff had received OSHA training prior to the subject incident.
Expert Analysis: The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifically states that it is the employer’s responsibility to initiate and maintain a safety program and that the program shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite by a competent person. The employer is also responsible for the training and supervision of their employees. Furthermore, at least two Standard Interpretations have been issued by OSHA indicating the following: Continue reading “OSHA’s Multi-Employer Citation Policy”

Slipping & Falling (For You)

Walter M. Wysowaty, PE, Civil Engineer Consultant ::::
Case Synopsis: The plaintiff was descending an exterior egress stairway from his apartment when he slipped and fell on a formation of “black ice” located on the top tread of the stairway. The plaintiff claimed that the formation of ice on the stairway in combination with the slope of the treads and poor lighting caused him to slip, lose his balance, and fall down the stairs.
Expert Analysis: An inspection and subsequent analysis was performed. Expert analysis supported that the stairway treads and handrail were in conformance with modern building codes. A meteorologist provided a meteorological report wherein NWS automated instrumentation indicated precipitation in the form of light freezing rain, freezing drizzle or ice pellets occurred only minutes prior to the plaintiff’s incident. Continue reading “Slipping & Falling (For You)”