If you work in the construction industry, you probably already know how dangerous it can be. You may have witnessed co-workers hurt in an accident at the construction site or even been hurt yourself. Construction accidents account for almost 20% of all workplace fatalities every year. As a construction accident attorney, I see many of the victims of these accidents, and more often than not, I’m dismayed to learn that the catastrophe could have been avoided.
Although the owner of a construction site is responsible for making sure that all OSHA safety guidelines are followed, when you work there, you have certain duties too. Unfortunately, site owners are sometimes more concerned about the bottom line than about the safety of the people working on the job. What they forget is that it is much cheaper to work safely all the time than to cut corners and risk a costly accident.
In these cases, it may be up to you and your co-workers to watch out for safety violations and report any that you see to the worksite foreman or even to OSHA immediately. If you witness any of the following safety violations (or anything else that concerns you), you should not continue working until the situation is corrected.
- Scaffolding that is poorly constructed
- Lack of proper fall protection
- Failure to utilize respiratory equipment when needed
- Lack of required “lock-out, tag-out” procedures
- Electrical errors, including wiring problems, lack of insulation, improperly constructed circuits and other issues
- Use of powered trucks, such as forklifts in an unsafe manner or by untrained individuals
- Ladders that are not safely stabilized or supported
- Machine parts that are not properly shielded or protected to avoid injury