Construction workers in California are no doubt aware that they belong to one of the deadliest industries in the nation. Employers, for their part, should consider a few steps toward a safer construction site: planning, risk management, prudent scheduling and staffing and the development of an overall safety-minded culture.
Planning should occur before the start of every job and take into account any potential safety hazards. That way, supervisors can put preventative measures in place and give workers the right personal protective equipment. For example, to prevent falls, which account for one-third of all construction fatalities, employers should ensure that scaffolding is secure, holes are cordoned off and workers wear harnesses and other gear.
Risk management starts with knowing when workers are most liable to be hurt. Construction deaths usually arise between 10am and 3pm, peaking at noon. Around noontime, then, employers should hold safety meetings and establish strict safety protocols to govern workers’ lunch breaks. Note that smaller construction companies have higher fatality rates than larger ones.
Scheduling and staffing must address the reality of worker exhaustion. Extended shifts should be avoided in spite of any talent shortages. Lastly, employers can create a safety-minded culture through continual education, refreshers on safety protocols, team-building exercises and even training courses on the OSHA website.
Employers cannot prevent all accidents, and another thing is that not all construction accident claims will be settled through the workers’ compensation system. Sometimes, the negligence of other parties, such as the manufacturer of a defective scaffold, contributes to the injuries, and such cases can lead to the filing of a third-party lawsuit. Victims who believe they can take this route may want a lawyer to evaluate their case.