It can be easy to forget about environmental hazards in the workplace, especially for individuals who spend long hours working construction. Unsafe situations may go unnoticed for the simple fact that you are intent on performing your job duties and performing them well. But, as you may know, there are many ways you can fall victim to a construction site injury.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers in construction sites experience a significantly high risk of injury. In fact, OSHA states that the construction industry’s injury rate is higher than the United States average across several industries.
Hopefully, your employer or manager has already made known to you the ways you can keep a safe environment at work. But consider observing the following hazard solutions as listed by OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Cranes – Be sure to inspect the hook, wire rope and chains for possible damage or significant wear. Never bring a load above a worker. With every load, check that they do not exceed the crane’s capacity in weight.
- Scaffolding – Ensure scaffolding has proper rails and boards installed. Have a competent worker remove and replace any weakened or damaged accessories. Always inspect scaffolding before use and keep scaffolding more than 10 feet from power lines.
- Forklifts – Always examine the forklift before you use it. Do not exceed recommended speed limits. Use caution in slippery areas. Ensure the weight of the objects you lift do not exceed the forklift’s capacity.
- Ladders – Always use the proper ladder for any given job. Inspect the ladder prior to using it; look for structural issues such as missing parts, damage or grease which may cause a worker to slip.
- Stairways – Keep stairways free of miscellaneous or hazardous objects. Keep stairway surfaces dry to prevent slipping. Treads should completely cover the landing and steps.
While taking the proper precautions when using construction equipment can help prevent injuries, be sure to also follow the protective wear guidelines as they are laid out in your employee safety manual. Such protective wear may include face and eyewear like safety glasses and face shields. And, of course, always wear your hard hat.
If you have recently suffered a serious injury at your workplace and you would like to know your legal options, consult an experienced personal injury attorney.