As the weather warms up around the country, construction projects will begin to pop up all over, and with that comes an increased threat of injuries. Working on a construction site is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, with thousands of injuries every year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average and it’s because of the inherent nature of the business. Construction workers are in danger of falls, trench and scaffolding collapses, electrocution, repetitive motion injuries and caught in-between injuries. The truly unfortunate thing is that many of these injuries are avoidable when the proper precautions are taken.
If you’re an employee at a construction site, do yourself a favor and survey your surroundings for the proper safety equipment. Many employers seek to cut corners and cost by not providing all of the required equipment. Don’t be their next victim and make sure you and your co-workers are protected.
What you should look for
- Eye and face protection: You should be able to find an ample supply of work goggles and face shields to protect you from foreign objects flying in your eyes or face. This is especially applicable in welding and electrical work.
- First aid kit: Workers need to know where it is located, and employers need to keep first aid supplies stocked.
- Safety protocol established: Does everyone know what to do if something were to happen? Are safety meetings held regularly? Have the high risk areas been identified and discussed? Are injury records kept? Emergency numbers displayed?
- Clean working environment: A construction site is already dangerous enough without there being a mess. Construction site cleanliness is paramount in accident prevention.
- Eye flushing and emergency showers: Depending on the nature of work you do, it may be necessary to have cleansing and flushing facilities available.
- Warning signs: Everyone at a construction site needs to be aware of the dangers at all times, and a warning sign is one effective way to educate employees of potential dangers.
- Dangerous chemicals/materials properly identified and stored: One common way people are hurt at construction sites is through mishandling of dangerous chemicals/materials. Properly labeling and storing them will reduce the chances of injury.
- Fire prevention: Are there an adequate number of fire extinguishers? Have escape routes been clearly identified? Are flammable materials stored in a satisfactory area?
The construction industry is naturally dangerous, but can be made safer if employers take necessary precautions and employees hold them accountable.
At Team Law, our personal injury and employment law attorneys are proven leaders in the industry. If you’ve suffered a personal injury or are in an employment dispute, contact us today for a free consultation.