Construction continues to be one of the most dangerous industries in which to work, with the latest figures revealing a 5% rise in the number of fatalities in 2019. Avoidable hazards and a lack of protective gear are common causes of serious injury. To minimize the risk of accidents, construction companies are required to comply with safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); these include providing adequate signage and appropriate equipment to protect workers. In addition, they have a legal obligation to keep a record of any injuries that occur, and this can help to avoid similar accidents in the future. Although workers’ compensation may be available if a contractor is found liable for injury, it is in the interest of both employers and workers to take safety regulations seriously.
Providing Adequate Safety Signage On Site
Construction work is inherently dangerous, with the Bureau of Labor reporting the occurrence of around 150,000 accidents in the industry each year. Despite its dangers, steps can be taken to minimize any avoidable hazards on site in order to protect workers where possible. As an essential component of safety and health programs, warning signs can help to prevent accidents. By providing clear labeling for equipment and machinery, and unambiguous safety notices around the site, contractors can significantly improve safety levels. To be effective, signs should be appropriately placed on machinery or outside hazardous areas, use standard color coding to indicate danger levels, and be easily understood by all workers.
Keeping Sites Free From Hazards
As well as ensuring adequate signage and labeling, construction companies have a duty to ensure that sites are free from identifiable hazards. Where they face hazardous conditions, workers must be provided with protective equipment and safe tools, and receive adequate training in using them. Training should be part of a comprehensive safety and health program that involves contractors and employees working together to identify and remove potential hazards. If workers feel safety programs are lacking, they can report violations or dangers to OSHA, who may then decide if an inspection of the site is required.
Maintaining Records Of Injuries And Accidents
By law, employers in industries such as construction that have high rates of accidents must keep a log of work-related injuries and illnesses and submit it each year to update OSHA statistics. The log should include any work-related injury or illness beyond the administering of simple first aid. Maintaining a log of incidents can help employers and workers identify actors involved and take steps to avoid similar hazardous situations in the future. The details recorded may also offer protection for employers in case of further investigation, or for workers who are seriously injured and require legal support as a result.
Working in construction is dangerous, and as a result, the government set rigorous safety standards to regulate the industry and minimize the risk of accidents. It is vital that employers and workers follow regulations in order to minimize the dangers they face and to provide them with legal protection in case of serious injury.