Job Site Safety Tips from a Top Construction Accident Lawyer
On a construction site, there are many worst-case scenarios that can play out. It’s a scary thought for any site owner and construction firm to think about.
These instances can turn into multi-million-dollar lawsuits that can bankrupt your construction business. This alone is more than enough reason to hire a construction accident lawyer to draft your contracts.
There has to be clauses that indicate the risks of a project and the accountability of all parties involved. For instance, who’s responsible for paying the costs of injuries and property damage in the event of an accident?
This is also why your construction firm should have proper liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. But what’s even more important is having safety guidelines in place that your employees follow.
Tragically, thousands of workers are injured and hundreds are killed on construction sites in the U.S. each year. As Chicago personal injurylawyers, we’re aware of the crucial importance of workplace safety.
In the following guide, we’ll cover the top tips you can use to keep your construction site safe.
Give Safety Training to All of Your Workers
Before a new employee sets foot on any of your construction sites, they should receive safety training. The training should go over workplace safety standards and common hazards on different job sites.
Training should include proper lifting techniques to avoid back injuries. Then, there should be safety policies employees have to read before the start of a new site. Make sure no employees operate equipment they’re not trained or qualified to use.
In the event of an accident, your workers should know the procedure to use and the name and location of first aid responders to contact. Remember: safety training isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing effort to ensure all workers know and remember all of the policies and procedures.
The last thing you want to have to do is hire a construction accident lawyer for a pending lawsuit.
Have Crew Safety Meetings Frequently
The frequency of these safety meetings will depend on your particular construction firm. For instance, some companies need to have these meetings daily when there’s high-risk work being performed.
In this case, remind your workers to stay focused and address relevant issues. It’s more motivating when the details given are real-life and job-specific.
Make Workers Wear Protective Clothes and Gear
Your top priority as a construction business owner is to ensure the protection of your employees. The best way to do this is to have them consistently wear protective clothing and gear.
This includes high-visibility clothing, hard hats, steel-toed boots and shirts that protect against UV rays. Wearing a yellow hardhat is not a fashion statement, but it could save your life.
Without that hard hat and steel toe cap boots, you’re putting yourself at great risk on a construction site. Anyone not wearing the recommended protective wear shouldn’t be allowed on the construction site.
This way, you can avoid potential injuries, lawsuits and the need to hire a construction accident lawyer.
Maintain Clean Workspaces
While constructing a new building, it’s essential to have a cleanup crew. This will ensure walkways are free of debris, spills and tools, so no one slips and falls. It’s also a good idea to teach your employees good cleaning habits.
Have them maintain a clean space at all times.
Regularly Inspect Tools and Equipment
Malfunctioning equipment can present a grave hazard to employees and anyone else on or near the construction site. It’s best to inspect your tools and equipment on a regular basis. Accidents can occur, such as employees being pinned by heavy malfunctioning equipment.
Then, there are cases where workers end up losing fingers, toes and limbs because of faulty tools. In worst case scenarios, some companies end up with a wrongful death lawsuit they have to hire a construction accident lawyer for.
Prevent workers from using any gear containing broken parts or improper functions.
Implement Fall Protection Systems
One of the leading causes of fatalities on construction sites is due to falls. In order to protect your employees from fatal injuries, it’s best to install fall protection systems. For example, you can install guardrails, screens, canopy structures, toe boards and nets.
Also, scaffolding is useful for preventing falls. Just ensure it’s properly installed so that it holds the intended weight load. It’s important to inspect scaffolds regularly as well.
Make sure the scaffolds have been inspected by a competent person and never work on one that does not have a strong platform or base. Check any ladder thoroughly before using it and if any part of it is wobbly, don’t use it.
Run Risk Assessments Per Job Site
Each construction site is different and comes with its own separate hazards. The safety tips you provided to workers for the last construction site may not work for the new site.
Risk assessments will help you identify unusual hazards, so you can warn your employees beforehand. Then in your crew meeting, ensure your workers get all the important information, education and training to handle the job safely.
Management should have prepared a safety plan to deal with on-site emergencies. Workers should have some basic first aid knowledge to deal with injuries that occur.
Use All Equipment for its Intended Purpose
It’s not uncommon for construction workers to use equipment and tools in tasks they’re not prescribed for. Make sure all of your workers know how to operate all gear based on the instructions of the manufacturer.
Misusing tools and equipment will increase the chances of someone getting injured. Also, the equipment should meet the standards of OSHA.
Follow the Guidelines OSHA Sets
OSHA guidelines are very important for keeping construction sites safe. Make sure each of your workers are well-acquainted with the rules and procedures. Then if there are any dangerous working conditions, workers should know how to report it to OSHA.
Record and report all violations and incidents.
Label and store any hazardous materials in proper containers and secure them in a safe location. Make sure there is an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for all potentially hazardous chemicals and materials.
Many construction site accidents happen when people are not aware of their surroundings. Stay alert and pay careful attention to any loose materials that might topple or fall on you.
Tools and Electricity
When using power tools, make sure that power cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded and the power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker.
Heavy Equipment and Vehicles
Each year, about ten people die when hit by heavy vehicles at construction sites. Often the drivers cannot see you fully, so stay clear while they’re in motion.
Reduce Nighttime Work
There will be days when work has to extend into the night. However, you want to reduce this as much as possible. Having employees work too long will potentially lead to injuries due to workers cutting corners to get the job done faster.
Plus, you have to worry about employees becoming fatigued and injuring themselves or others. Lighting should be sufficient to ensure visibility isn’t an issue. Also, it’s better to limit nighttime work to a low-risk area.
Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer
When the push comes to shove and you end up facing a personal injury or worker’s compensation lawsuit, you need proper representation.
We fight on the side of construction businesses and construction workers. If you were recently injured and you’re denied workers compensation, we can help.
If you’re injured at a construction site despite your efforts to avoid it, we urge you to email or call us at 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318).
At the Law Firm of Scott D. DeSalvo, we are Chicago personal injury lawyers and we want to help you get back on your feet, both physically and financially.
"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life. Scott is a down to earth person and attorney. Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff. The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen. Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied. I was."
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