Construction workers, or contractors, have one of the toughest jobs in America. Not only is the construction industry physically strenuous, it can be very dangerous if a worker isn’t educated about taking the necessary safety precautions while on the job.
According to OSHA statistics, one in five worker deaths in 2014 were in construction. The most common fatality was death by a fall, followed by electrocution, struck by an object, and finally caught-in/between something. The truth is, many fatalities and injuries in construction can be avoided by taking extra precautions in the work environment. Employers have a certain responsibility to uphold certain standards of safety, but it also an employee’s duty to know what the risks are on the job site and how to avoid them. Here’s a few safety tips for construction workers that can help reduce injuries on the job:
- Hard hats should be worn at all times on a job site. Your hard hat should always remain in good condition, and should be replaced if it is showing signs of wear/cracking.
- If working on scaffolding, the apparatus should be set on solid ground. Scaffolding should also be fully planked. Avoid working on scaffolding during inclement weather, including high winds, snow and rain.
- When working with electrical, it is imperative that all circuits are turned off and grounds are attached. Routinely inspect cords and cables and replace if they are damaged or worn. Make sure ladders and other equipment is located at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Only properly trained workers are authorized to work with a crane. Use guardrails and steps when accessing all parts of the crane. The platform underneath the crane should also be an antiskid surface to ensure the equipment remains in place during operation.
- Under no circumstances can an employee under the age of 18 operate a forklift. Its breaks, horn, and steering must be inspected daily to ensure they are in proper working condition. Overhead guards must be in place to protect the driver from overhead objects, and there must be proper headroom between the vehicle and any hanging material such as lighting.
No matter how careful a worker is, accidents can still happen. Responding appropriately to an injury can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. For less serious injuries, follow these steps in reporting your injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Report the injury to your supervisor/employer: Notify your employer as soon as the injury happens, and do it in writing. Keep a copy of your notification for your records.
- Complete the claim form as soon as possible: Once your employer is notified of your injury, they will provide the injured worker with a claim form. Fill out the form completely to the best of your knowledge. It is the employer’s responsibility to notify the workers’ compensation insurance company and recommend the company’s doctor for medical care.
Although this may seem relatively straightforward, the days following an injury can be emotional and confusing. There is a great deal of paperwork that goes along with filing a workers’ comp claim, which can be frustrating especially when an injured worker wants to focus on recovery. The Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates is here to help. Gerald Brody and Matthew Russell are skilled workers’ compensation attorneys who have been practicing in San Diego for many years. Their results they’ve achieved for their clients speak for themselves. For a free consultation, call (619) 528-9800 today.