If you joined us last week, you know that we’ve been focusing on common hazards and safety issues found within the construction workplace. Throughout the years, we’ve seen countless people suffering from injuries sustained on the job.
Although we take pride in representing people who have been hurt while working at a construction site, we would prefer to see people becoming more aware of workplace hazards and preventing injuries before they occur. In the second part of this series, we’ll take a look at more problem spots within the work zone so that you can protect yourself while on the job.
Use the Info Given to You
The number of workers who are injured each year due to a lack of hazard communication is astonishing. As a construction worker, you are entitled to receive written information about any hazardous chemicals or materials being used in your workspace. If you believe you’re being exposed to hazards, request an MSDS (material safety data sheet) from your employer and take the time to read and understand it.
Insist on Training
You should never be asked to or attempt to operate machinery or equipment that you have not been trained to use. Doing so can cause serious injury to you or others. You should also receive regular training and information updates on proper safety techniques (such as lifting) and safety equipment. Although your employer is obligated to provide a safe work environment and to offer training, it is your responsibility to hold your employer accountable for these obligations. Speak up for your right to be trained, informed, and educated in order to protect yourself and your co-workers.
Wear a Hard Hat
Too many workers sustain serious head injuries each year because they have failed to wear their hard hats. Although hard hats have been commonplace in the construction industry for years, some men and women become overly confident in the workplace and feel as though they don’t really need to wear them. This is never the case and OSHA requires that you wear your hard hat at all times in order to protect you against the risk of falling debris, electrical shock, and other impacts. As in the case of face gear, make sure that your hard hat is always in good condition and that it fits your head snuggly.
Protect Your Eyes and Face
Injuries to your eyes and face while at a construction work site can be truly catastrophic. Blindness, burns, scars, and disfigurement can all compromise the quality of your life, so it’s important to learn how to protect yourself against potential risks. OSHA requires that workers be provided with eye protection gear and face masks, and they also require that workers wear these protective devices whenever hazards are present from flying particles, chemicals, acids, gases, chemical vapors, molten medals, light radiation, caustic liquids, etc. Make sure that your protective glasses/goggles and face masks fit you snuggly and properly, and that they are kept in good condition. Should your equipment become damaged or worn down, be sure to request a replacement immediately.
**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.**
Our hope is that by learning more about common construction site hazards, fewer Coloradans will sustain injuries this year. We realize, though, that accidents do happen, and we’re here for you in your hour of need. If you or someone you love have sustained a construction workplace injury, please contact Mintz Law Firm today.