How to Prevent Construction Accidents
While working in construction is dangerous, this does not have to be the case. Most construction accidents are entirely preventable. But, the problem is that construction companies and contractors often prioritize their profits over their workers’ safety—and in doing so they fail to take steps that could protect their workers from serious or fatal injuries.
The Orlando construction accident lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have seen the devastation that unsafe jobsites can inflict on workers firsthand. We are committed to helping injured construction workers pursue the full and fair compensation to which they may be entitled under Florida law.
10 Ways Construction Companies Can (and Should) Prevent Accidents
There are many simple steps that construction companies and contractors can (and should) take to prevent accidents on the job site. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the following are all safety measures that could help reduce the number of construction accidents in Florida and across the U.S. each year:
Lack of training is among the leading causes of construction site accidents. This includes a lack of training on the proper use of tools and equipment as well as a lack of training on fall protection. Whether a construction worker injures himself or herself due to lack of training or a worker suffers injuries due to a co-worker’s lack of knowledge and experience, he or she will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in many cases.
Inadequate communication is also a common factor in serious and fatal construction accidents. OSHA lists inadequate hazard communication as the fourth most frequently cited safety violation on construction sites. This includes inadequate verbal communication on the jobsite, inadequate notices and signage, and inadequate labeling of hazardous chemicals.
3. Fall Protection
Our Orlando construction accident lawyers help numerous fall victims every year. Falls are the leading cause of injuries on construction sites, and many of these accidents happen due to inadequate fall protection. Construction companies and contractors must supply their workers with harnesses and other necessary safety equipment, and they must ensure that stairwells, floor openings, and other fall hazards are appropriately guarded with signs, toe boards, and railings. According to OSHA, inadequate fall protection is the single most-common safety violation on construction sites.
4. Eye Protection
Eye injuries can result from flying sawdust and other debris, welding arcs, protruding boards and railings, and various other hazards. Construction companies and contractors should ensure that all workers who are at risk for suffering eye injuries have appropriate eye protection.
5. Respiratory Protection
Respiratory protection is essential for construction workers who work with (or in the vicinity of) harmful fumes and particulates. Exposure to paint fumes, drywall dust, and various other construction site hazards can leave workers suffering from respiratory illnesses and other potentially dangerous (or fatal) diseases.
6. Machine Guarding
From saw guards to heat shields on generators, various types of machine guarding are available to help protect construction workers from on-the-job injuries. Unfortunately, construction companies and contractors often fail to install necessary guards, or they ignore the need to replace guards that have broken or gone missing.
7. Tool and Equipment Maintenance
Hand tools, power tools, generators, welding equipment, air compressors, forklifts, and other types of construction equipment require regular maintenance to remain safe for use. When construction companies and contractors fail to maintain their tools and equipment appropriately, they often end up putting their workers in harm’s way.
8. Proper Scaffolding Construction
Scaffolding also requires regular maintenance, and proper scaffolding construction is critical for keeping workers safe when they are working at heights. Despite detailed manufacturer instructions and clear guidelines for scaffolding safety, scaffolding accidents remain a common cause of construction site injuries.
9. Controlling Hazardous Energy
Failure to properly control hazardous energy sources is another preventable cause of construction site accidents. From supervising electricians’ work and obtaining timely inspections to following appropriate lockout-tagout procedures, there are several simple steps that construction companies and contractors can (and should) take to prevent electrocution accidents on their jobsites.
10. Safe Driving and Operation
Accidents involving construction trucks, delivery trucks, cement trucks, forklifts, and cranes are regular occurrences on construction sites in Florida. They are also entirely preventable. To prevent these accidents, companies should ensure that all drivers and operators have adequate training and experience, provide workers on the ground with high-visibility jackets, and supervise all operations to ensure that everyone is doing their part to avoid unnecessary injuries and deaths.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident in Florida, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may have a claim outside of workers’ comp as well. To discuss your legal rights with an experienced Orlando construction accident lawyer in confidence, call (800) 766-1000 or request a free consultation online now.