How to Prevent Construction Accidents
Construction is a dangerous industry for workers and civilians alike. Construction workers face the highest rates of work-related fatalities of any profession. Construction accidents, however, like car accidents, are avoidable. If everyone is careful and follows safety guidelines at all times, the likelihood of an accident can be significantly reduced. Below we discuss a few measures that any construction site should take to mitigate the risk of an accident. If you were injured on a construction site in New York, call a Bronx construction site accident lawyer at the Kohn Law Firm for advice and assistance.
Train Workers Properly and Conduct Safety Meetings
Proper safety training is vital to a safe work environment. Supervisors should schedule regular safety meetings to review safety protocols, train new workers, and identify any safety concerns that have arisen in recent days. Team leaders can be apprised of new developments and suggest any equipment or behavioral adjustments that should be made in light of recent events.
Enforce Safety Protocols
Along the same vein, supervisors and safety professionals should develop and enforce safety protocols that are mandatory for all workers. These protocols should be reviewed and revised periodically as needed.
Provide Proper Protection Equipment and Enforce Usage
All workers should be given appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for whatever job they are performing. That includes gloves, vests, helmets, goggles, steel-toed boots, face shields, hearing protection, and anything else reasonably necessary to prevent injury. Workers must also be taught to use the equipment properly and to utilize the equipment even when it might seem “easier” or “quicker” to discard PPE in the moment.
Fatigued workers make mistakes. Workers should be forced to take regular rest breaks and meal breaks to avoid errors caused by drowsiness, soreness, and general work stress. Workers may want to work overtime or through lunch to earn additional money, but tired or dehydrated workers are much more likely to cause an accident.
Clean and Inspect Sites at the Beginning and End of the Shift
Regular safety inspections are key to avoiding construction accidents. Inspections can unearth discarded equipment left from earlier shifts, loose wires, hazards created overnight due to weather (water, ice, etc.), and any number of other safety concerns. Inspecting the site at least once a day, if not several times during the day, is vitally important. Workers should be encouraged to keep their workspaces clean and to make specific efforts to pick up tools, materials, and equipment at the end of their shift.
Maintain Equipment Properly
Equipment is only as good as its maintenance. If construction workers are using old, rusted, or otherwise poorly-maintained equipment, construction accidents are significantly more likely. An old, broken ladder is much worse than no ladder at all because it gives a false sense of security. Construction companies must ensure that their equipment is well-kept and that new equipment is acquired to replace old, broken equipment.
Follow OSHA Requirements and Report Dangerous Conditions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues regulations and guidance concerning workplace safety. These rules and regulations should always be followed. Workers should be encouraged to speak up about safety hazards they encounter on the worksite and to report those conditions externally if nothing is done following internal reporting.
Seasoned Advice and Representation After a New York Construction Accident
If you or someone you love has been hurt on a construction site in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the experienced and effective New York construction accident lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.