Construction is a dangerous line of work. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, it was the second most dangerous industry in the country, second only to transportation. There were more than 700 construction-related fatalities that year and, on average, four out of every 100 workers suffered an injury. Because of the high rates of injuries and fatalities associated with this line of work, there is an employer responsibility to provide employees with a safe, hazard-free work environment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration even outlines several standards and practices for employers in the construction industry to follow; these address everything from equipment and tool maintenance to fire safety precautions and first aid. Failure to follow OSHA’s standards for employer responsibility can result in a citation, fine, or jail time.
Workers can also do their part to keep the workplace safe by:
- Putting up all tools and equipment safely and securely after using them.
- Never operating machinery or equipment they are not trained to handle.
- Always wearing protective gear, including gloves, a hard hat, closed toe shoes, and more.
- Reporting any unsafe conditions immediately to a supervisor or the local OSHA office.
- Fully inspecting scaffolding and ladders before climbing up.
- Being careful when getting on or off equipment, especially near roadways or on slopes.
- Never working while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Always lifting with the knees, not the back.
- Knowing where all first aid kits and fire extinguishers are on site.
If you were injured on a construction site because employer responsibility was not met or because of the negligence of a coworker or other third party, you could be due worker’s compensation or have grounds for a legal claim. Call (210) 934-6609 to discuss your options with an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today.