Of the 4,693 workplace deaths that occurred in the private sector in 2016, 21.1%, or 991 people died due to construction site accidents. More than a third of these deaths occurred due to falls. Fall protection is the most commonly violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard. Similar OSHA violations lead to thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities every year.
If you or someone you love works in construction, here are five tips to keep you safer on the job.
TIP #1 – WEAR APPROPRIATE SAFETY GEAR
Wearing hard hats and safety goggles is a fairly standard practice when on the jobsite. But there are a variety of tasks that require additional safety equipment including harnesses and other forms of protective clothing and gear. Learn as much as you can about this equipment. This ensures that you use it correctly and will be able to tell if there any issues with the equipment. Site managers should also conduct regular checks to ensure workers use the equipment properly.
TIP #2 – ALWAYS WEAR REFLECTIVE CLOTHING
Visibility is a major issue on construction sites. This is especially true when working in low-light conditions and tough weather conditions. Reflective clothing ensures that you’re always seen when you’re working. Drivers and other machinery operators are less likely to cause injury to people wearing reflective clothes.
TIP #3 – HOLD DAILY SAFETY MEETINGS
Construction site foremen and managers must take responsibility for employing safety protocols on their sites. This extends further than having a set of rules in place, however; they must also discuss these rules with their employees on a regular basis. Moreover, they must also adapt those standards to suit the specific work undertaken. Hazards often change as work progresses, which is why it’s the best practice to conduct daily safety meetings with the crew. New instructions should be relayed to the team and safety practices already in place should be reinforced. It’s important that these meetings are taken seriously.
TIP #4 – TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Long work hours lead to fatigue, which increases the potential for construction site accidentsto occur. Taking regular breaks allows the body to recover and ensures you keep your mind focused on safety. Plus, working to the point of exhaustion compromises safety and can put others in danger.
TIP #5 – PAY ATTENTION TO SIGNAGE
Properly managed construction sites use signs to warn of dangerous areas. A good example of this is the sign outside high voltage areas. Ideally, these areas will also have barriers around them to ensure nobody enters them mistakenly. Pay attention to these signs and keep an eye out for areas that should have signs but don’t. Inform a manager if there is an unmarked dangerous site.
CONTACT US IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT
Despite these tips, it’s still possible that you could be injured while on the job. If you’ve been injured on a construction site, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who will fight for your rights. Contact Miller Kory Rowe LLP at (602) 648-4045 to arrange for a free legal consultation.