Workplace safety regulations exist to protect workers from the most likely sources of harm, reducing the risk of on-the-job injuries. Given how risky it can be, these sorts of regulations are more important in the construction industry than almost anywhere else. Unfortunately, employers do not always adhere to these regulations, putting their workers in unnecessary danger. Here are seven of the most common safety regulations seen on construction sites:
- Out-of-date or missing inspections
- Inspections are an important part of ensuring all equipment on a construction site is safe to use. Inspections are also helpful in identifying potential hazards on a site, such as unstable land, fire hazards, and toxic or caustic chemicals. Some construction contractors will not perform safety inspections, or will do them infrequently, meaning they miss potential hazards that can wind up hurting people.
- Lack of protective gear
- Construction contractors are supposed to provide protective gear to their workers to protect them from common sources of injury on a construction site. This includes hardhats, goggles, insulated gloves, and other similar gear that can defend against various kinds of harm. When contractors fail to provide this gear, or make their workers bring the gear themselves, they place their workers at a high risk of injury.
- Lack of fall protection
- Falling injuries regularly top the list of OSHA’s most common source of workplace injuries, with construction workers being particularly prone to falling. These types of injuries can be prevented with fall protection, which can include guard rails to protect people from falling over ledges, to personal arrest systems or safety nets to catch someone as they fall. When construction contractors or site owners fail to use these types of fall protection, they put workers at a greater risk of harm.
- Poorly secured scaffolding
- Construction workers often work from elevated platforms known as scaffolding. These platforms can be attached to the site of a building, or suspended from above, but either way they are supposed to be appropriately secured. When they are not secured, they are at risk of tipping, tilting, swaying, or even collapsing, which can cause a worker to fall.
- Lack of warning signs
- It should seem obvious to many people, but warning signs are an important part of protecting people against known hazards. These warnings can prevent people from entering locations that may be prone to a cave-in or protect them from poisonous gasses or exposure to dangerous chemicals. When construction site owners and contractors fail to put up warning signs, they risk workers stumbling into a hazard and getting themselves hurt.
- Lack of machine guarding
- Construction workers often use equipment capable of piercing or cutting through hard materials like wood, brick and steel. Suffice it to say that anything capable of going through solid steel can also cause substantial injury to people, which is why most of these types of machines are supposed to have guards on them. When this guarding is not installed, or workers are not trained in their use, it increases the risk that a worker will injure themselves while using the equipment.
- Circumventing lockout/tagout systems
- Electrocutions are among the most common reasons that construction workers get injured, and this is often the result of touching electrical equipment that is currently in use. Specialized systems, known as lockout or tagout systems, are typically used to avoid this situation. Unfortunately, when these systems are not implemented, or when they get ignored, workers can pay the price.
The personal injury attorneys at Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC are experienced in representing clients who have been seriously injured, and the surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured, as the result of construction accidents. The firm’s accomplished personal injury lawyers strive to secure full and fair compensation for their injured clients. With law offices conveniently located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, their personal injury lawyers can vigorously represent clients throughout the metropolitan area, including in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (718) 238-2400 or fill out our contact form.