According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 150,000 people are injured on the job in the construction industry every single year. That is more accidents than any other industry, beating out other dangerous jobs like fishing, logging, and mining by a wide margin. While this is partly due to inherent dangers of the job, it is also due to common safety violations that put workers’ lives at risk. Here are seven of the most common safety violations seen on construction sites:
- Lack of fall protection
- Construction workers often need to go high up to perform their work, putting them at increased risk of falling. To counter this, fall protections like safety nets or personal arrest systems are supposed to be put into place, which can help protect against an accidental fall. When construction companies fail to put these protections in place, workers become more likely to suffer a falling injury.
- Lack of personal protective gear
- Hardhats, insulated gloves, safety goggles, and protective masks are all a part of the standard gear construction workers should have to protect against hazards on the site. Unfortunately, some construction companies will fail to provide their employees with the protection they need, and may even demand their workers provide their own safety equipment. Not only is this illegal, it also puts construction workers at a higher risk of harm.
- Unsecured scaffolding
- “Scaffolding” is the term used for the elevated platforms that construction workers stand on while they’re working on construction sites. These platforms are supposed to be secured to prevent them from moving, tilting, swaying, or collapsing. When they are not properly secured, they may become unstable, resulting in an injury to anyone on the scaffold, and potentially to anyone standing below.
- Lack of safety training
- Most construction equipment these days is sold with built-in safety measures intended to prevent injury to workers. However, not every construction contractor takes the time to educate their employees on the proper use of these safety features. This may lead workers to fail to use these safety measures, making them that much more likely to suffer an injury.
- Missing or non-functional safety measures
- On the other hand, maybe an employee has been properly trained in the use of safety measures, only to find the necessary equipment is damaged or missing. When that happens, it’s almost the same as not having the safety measures in place at all. This puts workers at a much higher risk of injury, and is a significant violation of safety regulations.
- Lockout/tagout violations
- Many types of construction equipment, especially heavy machinery, use high voltage electrical systems. Special systems, known as lockout or tagout systems, are typically put into place to prevent someone from accidentally coming into contact with these systems while they’re powered up. Sometimes, though, employers will circumvent these systems, committing a safety violation and making it much more likely that their workers will be electrocuted.
- Lack of warning signs
- Compared to other safety violations, a lack of warning signs may seem quaint. However, there are plenty of hazards on a construction site that may not be immediately obvious, which a warning sign can keep people away from. When construction companies fail to put up warning signs for known hazards, they violate the law and put their workers at risk.
Fox Law Firm, PLLC is a New York personal injury law practice serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. With more than three decades of law practice experience, attorney Kevin Fox has helped clients in personal injury cases obtain the compensation they deserve. For more information or to ask for a consultation, call our Riverhead office at 631-779-3400 or visit our contact page.