New Bill Requires Contractors to Submit Safety PlansMarch 4, 2019
If passed, new legislation will help prevent serious safety violations that compromise the health and safety of workers in Maryland. Contractors or subcontractors who will be working on projects valued at $100,000 or more must submit safety plans and a health calculation worksheet within seven days of the start of the contract.
In addition, the state would be required to ensure that the safety plans are being followed at all times. Ultimately, this will help prevent serious workplace injuries and fatalities that can occur at construction sites across the state.
According to the bill’s fiscal and policy note, the commissioner will conduct inspections of worksites in order to ensure that they are in compliance with the bill. Upon arriving at a worksite, the commissioner will determine whether the appropriate health and safety measures are being carried out. In addition, they will interview workers, and review company records to ensure compliance with the bill.
If the contractor or subcontractor is in violation of the bill’s requirements, the commissioner will be required to issue a citation and proposed order. A first violation would result in a $5,000 penalty, and each subsequent violation would result in a $10,000 penalty.
Depending on the number of violations, the vendor could be banned from all public projects for up to two years.
High Cost of Injuries
The bill was proposed in response to a report that revealed the number of injuries and fatalities at construction sites, and the amount of money that these accidents cost the state. The Price of Inaction report found that serious and fatal injuries on construction sites cost Maryland close to $713 million between 2008 and 2010.
According to a worker health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division, serious workplace injuries and fatalities are a major problem in the construction industry. Lawmakers in Maryland have a responsibility to ensure that all worksites are safe and that the safety plans are being enforced.
Failure to do so will have a devastating impact on the workers, their families, and the community. In addition, it will impose a serious financial burden on the state’s economy.
Previous attempts to pass similar legislation have been made, including a Senate bill in 2015 and two attempts in 2016. However, two were withdrawn due to an unfavorable report, and one did not make it out of the Finance Committee.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Injured Workers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work as a result of an unsafe work environment, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. Construction workers are at particular risk for injuries due to the nature of their work, and potential hazards at construction sites. Our experienced legal team will thoroughly investigate the details of your case and determine who is responsible for your injuries. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the full financial benefits that you deserve. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. We work with clients injured at work in Baltimore and across Maryland.