As a hardworking contractor, you do so much to make the state of Colorado and the United States truly great. Unfortunately, you also put yourself at risk of injury in the workplace on a day-to-day basis. Even with OSHA safety regulations and standards in place, construction sites still present numerous safety challenges for workers, and accidents happen every day.
In the event that you or a loved one do get injured on the job, Mintz Law Firm attorneys are here to help you recover your losses, but having the ability to prevent accidents from ever happening is top priority. Because knowledge is the key to workplace safety, we’ve dedicated a two-part series to highlighting some of the most glaring construction job site safety issues to watch out for.
Recognize Fall Hazards
Falls are the most commonly cited safety violations in the construction industry, and fall hazards should be taken seriously. As a construction worker, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and size up the situation before proceeding with work. If you feel as though conditions are unsafe, speak to a supervisor and insist upon a safe work environment. Do not work in an environment where fall protection systems aren’t in place and make sure that you are properly trained on how to wear and use personal fall arrest systems. For best results, your employer should offer regular training on how to recognize and prevent falls from happening. It’s your duty, as an employee, to request training updates like these and apply what you learn to your day-to-day activities.
Practice Scaffold Safety
The majority of construction workers will come into contact with scaffolds at one point or another throughout their careers. Scaffolds present specific risks and dangers when workers don’t take precautions. Always wear non-skid work boots to prevent falls from occurring while working on a scaffold and do not ever attempt to work from a scaffold in the presence of rain, ice, snow, water, or mud. You should also never use boxes, ladders, or other objects in an attempt to increase your height or reach while on scaffolding.
Be Smart With Ladders
Many contractors succumb to ladder-related injuries each year, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Proper education and training will keep you and your crew protected when using ladders. As a rule, you should always maintain three points of contact with the ladder. This means that both feet should be in contact with the rungs, and at least one hand should be on the ladder. Portable ladders should be used at a safe and stable angle, and should be secured both at the top and bottom. This can be accomplished by tying the ladder securely to a permanent fixture, or by having another worker hold it in place. Remember to take the weight of all of your tools and materials into consideration when calculating the weight load of the ladder. This will prevent exceeding load limits and will minimize any risks associated with breakage and instability.
**Workplace safety is essential to preventing injuries and protecting you in the event that an accident does occur. Failing to follow safety procedures can put you at risk for not receiving a worker’s compensation settlement or medical assistance, so take care to educate yourself and be aware of your surroundings at all times.**
We hope that our readers never succumb to injuries like those listed above, but we’re here to help if you have. Please call Mintz Law Firm or contact online for a free case evaluation, and be sure to drop by next week for part two of our series on construction site hazards.