Ways Construction Companies Can (and Should) Prevent Jobsite Accidents
Jobsite accidents are among the leading causes of work-related injuries and fatalities. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 41 percent of construction workers report being exposed to hazards on the job, and 24 percent report either experiencing or witnessing on-the-job accidents. Yet, the data also show that most of these accidents are preventable. What can (and should) construction companies do to protect their workers? Miami construction accident lawyer Keith Brais explains:
10 Ways To Prevent Construction Site Accidents
There are several steps that construction companies can take to prevent accidents on their job sites. Despite the fact that many of these steps are simple (and mandated by law), it is clear that far too many construction companies fail to prioritize their workers’ safety. For example, to reduce the number of serious and fatal construction site accidents, companies can:
1. Ensure Their Workers Are Adequately Trained
Many construction site accidents occur because workers lack the training they need to stay safe on the job. By only hiring qualified workers and ensuring that their workers receive all necessary training, construction companies could reduce the risk of jobsite accidents significantly. This includes providing adequate training with regard to the proper use of tools and equipment as well as general jobsite safety.
2. Provide Their Workers with Safe Tools and Equipment
Poorly maintained tools and equipment are common causes of construction site accidents. Ladders, scaffolding, hand tools and power tools, forklifts, and other construction equipment should all be up to the job. Construction companies need to ensure that their workers have access to adequate safety equipment as well. Oftentimes, construction workers won’t know that the tools and equipment they are using are unsafe, or if they do know, they will fear losing their jobs if they report the issue to their employer.
3. Address the Most Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
While construction site accidents can result from numerous causes, there are a handful of causes that account for the majority of all accidents in the construction industry. By addressing these five causes, construction companies could reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents on their job sites by more than half:
- Falling and flying objects
- Electrical hazards
- Risks of being caught in or between objects
- Exposure to silica dust, asbestos and other hazardous substances
4. Use Wearables and Mobile Apps to Monitor Workers’ Safety
As the NSC reports, using wearable devices and mobile apps to monitor workers’ safety could also significantly reduce the number of accidents on construction sites each year. This includes wearables and apps that monitor workers’ locations, heart rates, internal body temperatures and other vitals. If a construction worker gets stuck, falls or is at risk for overheating, being able to identify this immediately can help prevent a dangerous situation from going from bad to worse.
5. Use Other Technologies To Minimize the Risks of Dangerous Tasks
Construction companies can use other technologies to minimize their workers’ on-the-job injury risks as well. For example, using drones to inspect roofs instead of sending workers up ladders can prevent unnecessary (and potentially fatal) falls. Similarly, using sensors to monitor for dangerous levels of toxic fumes or particulates allows construction companies to keep their workers out of hazardous environments.
6. Follow OSHA’s Safety Standards for Construction Sites
Following the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety standards for construction sites is another simple and proven way to prevent accidents on the job. Yet, violations of these standards are so common that OSHA maintains a running list of the 10 most common violations. OSHA’s safety standards address all aspects of construction site safety—from fall protection and safety equipment to electrocution risks and proper forklift operation.
7. Follow Florida’s Safety Standards for Construction Sites
Along with OSHA, the Florida Department of Health and other state agencies enforce jobsite safety standards as well. Yet, while compliance is mandatory, violations of these standards are also extremely common. Simply following the rules would be enough to protect construction workers in many cases.
8. Encourage Workers To Prioritize Jobsite Safety
Construction companies could also reduce the risk of on-the-job accidents by encouraging their workers to prioritize jobsite safety. If construction companies would simply let their workers know that safety comes first, this alone would go a long way toward preventing accidents on the job.
Yet, in practice, the opposite often proves to be true. Rather than prioritizing safety, construction companies tell their workers that they need to get their jobs done as quickly as possible. Even if this means making dangerous compromises, this is a risk that far too many construction companies are willing to take.
9. Encourage Workers To Report Hazards, Accidents and Injuries
Similarly, if construction companies encouraged their workers to report hazards, accidents and injuries, this would prevent many incidents as well. While this type of culture is common in many industries, it is far less common in construction. Too often, construction workers are told to ignore safety risks. As a result, these safety risks continue to exist, and sooner or later, they end up causing serious or fatal injuries.
10. Monitor Their Job Sites and Address Safety Risks Promptly
Finally, employing supervisors and construction managers to supervise their job sites is another easy way that construction companies can prevent accidents on the job. In many circumstances, construction workers need to have someone else looking out for their safety in addition to looking out for themselves. If construction companies hire employees who are accountable for maintaining safe job sites, this can eliminate the culture of fear that leads to so many unnecessary accidents on the job.
Contact Miami Construction Accident Lawyer Keith Brais for Free
Miami construction accident lawyer Keith Brais has decades of experience representing construction workers and their families. If you are dealing with the consequences of a preventable construction site accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with Mr. Brais about your legal rights in confidence, please call 800-499-0551 or request an appointment online now.