Construction is a dangerous and often deadly job. It is a construction company’s responsibility to keep its workers reasonably safe at construction sites through adequate safety measures and protocols. Unfortunately, some construction companies and site supervisors cut corners to save money…allowing worker safety to fall through the cracks. As a construction worker in Alabama, take steps to protect yourself from accidents at work. Taking your safety into your own hands could save your life.
Obey OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aims to improve the safety of the construction industry with federal rules and regulations. These standards apply to all employers and supervisors in the construction industry. OSHA has 2,100 inspectors that answer complaints and investigate alleged violations.
In 2017, one in five employee deaths occurred in the construction industry according to OSHA statistics. The most commonly broken OSHA standards are worker fall protection, hazard communication standards, scaffolding requirements, respiratory protection and the control of hazardous energy. An employer that breaches one or more of OSHA’s safety standards could contribute to a serious or fatal work accident in Alabama.
An employer failing to offer proper fall protection, for example, could lead to a preventable fall from a scaffold or elevated platform. Falls are the number one cause of construction worker death in the U.S. Obeying OSHA’s safety standards for the construction workplace could save lives. If your employer negligently fails to uphold OSHA standards, file an official complaint and if you were injured, discuss your case with a Huntsville workers’ compensation attorney.
Beware the Fatal Four
In a year of OSHA answering calls and inspecting construction sites in America, it discovered four accidents caused the majority of deaths in this industry. These accidents, which OSHA dubbed the Fatal Four, were responsible for about 60% of construction worker fatalities in 2017. If construction workers can avoid the Fatal Four, it would save an average of 582 lives each year in the U.S.
- Slip, trip and fall accidents killed 381 construction workers in 2017.
- Struck-by object. Items, debris, materials or equipment struck and killed 80 workers.
- Dangerous electrical components and lack of proper protection took 71 lives.
- Caught-in/between heavy machinery. Equipment or objects catching or trapping workers caused 50 fatal injuries in 2017.
Preventing these common accidents as an employer or worker could save thousands of employees from serious injuries. Properly maintaining construction site equipment, tools, vehicles and premises could help prevent serious construction site accidents. Keeping a clean workspace, inspecting regularly for hazards and creating a safety plan are all tasks an employer should complete to improve the safety and efficiency of a worksite. Failing to reasonably prevent worker injuries is employer negligence.
Report Negligent Employers
As a construction worker in Huntsville, recognizing and being aware of the most common types of accidents and injuries could help you avoid a serious mishap. However, you only have so much power when it comes to maintaining a safe workplace. Your employer is the one with the responsibility to inspect construction sites, repair known hazards and take steps to reasonably prevent future accidents.
If you or your coworkers notice safety violations at work, such as dangerous ladders or incompetent forklift drivers, inform your employer of the issue. Your employer may listen and resolve the issue. If safety hazards still impact your workplace after you go to HR, involve the federal government. File a health or safety complaint with OSHA. The administration will conduct an official inspection of your employer to search for signs of violations.
Taking your case to OSHA could force your employer to take worker safety and health more seriously. It could prevent construction site accidents before they injure or kill you or a coworker in Alabama. Stay alert during work hours for common safety violations and hazardous situations. It could be in your power to prevent construction site accidents.