Construction sites can be relatively dangerous places if all necessary safety precautions are not put into place. Materials need to be used properly, structural stability needs to be ensured in order to prevent future injury, and dangerous equipment needs to be accurately handled to promote not only the operator’s safety, but a safe work environment throughout the construction site as well. However, many construction sites are not safe. This unfortunate point is a reality because construction workers are not always properly trained and equipment is therefore not used properly. Other contributing factors can include safety guidelines and regulations not being habitually met or being disregarded altogether; simply because a site owner or construction foreman wants to get a particularly job done quicker. In any event, corners should never be cut in relation to promoting a safe working environment, and those individuals, companies, contractors or general contractors that choose to exhibit such shoddy behavior can be held liable for all damages associated with their less-than-stellar safety standards.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 969 construction accident fatalities in 2008. Of that number, more than one-third of those deaths resulted from falls. While some construction falls may not be entirely preventable, as is the nature of such a high-risk, high-danger work environment, others could have been prevented if construction workers had been properly trained. Some of those falls could have possibly resulted when a piece of equipment malfunctioned, or was simply used incorrectly. Proper training may have prevented some of those accidents. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of managers, construction company owners, contractors and general contractors to make sure that they are sending their employees to work having the required amount of knowledge and training that they will need to safely perform their job.
Safe use of equipment is another area that needs to be fully embraced in order to promote worker safety. With use of such heavy machinery on construction sites, it is essential that only properly certified employees handle such machinery; all so that safety throughout the site can be maintained. For example, the operation of a crane requires a certain level of training, and individuals who are not properly trained should never use such a device. The same can be said for all types of machinery, whether vehicular in nature or simply handheld.
Federal guidelines through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA have been set in place to ensure that all activity on a construction site does not unreasonably place workers in danger of any kind. However, safety standards are not always met, which can greatly increase the likelihood that injury of some kind may take place. In all instances where negligent training, poor and unsafe site upkeep, and a blatant disregard for safety rules results in worker injury, it is important that a skilled construction accident attorney is consulted in order to ensure that negligent parties are held accountable for their actions.