Construction work is one of the riskier occupations for employment, and construction workers are routinely exposed to a wide array of hazards which could potentially cause injury. Employers are required to comply with workplace safety regulations and enforce stringent prevention and training.
But serious accidents and fatalities can and do happen. It is every employer’s responsibility to not just comply with regulations, but to create a workplace culture where safety is valued.
Best Practices for the Construction Industry
All construction employers should begin with a rigorous safety culture of best practices that include broad, key elements.
Training and Communication. These two elements go hand in hand, since no training plan will be effective if it is not widely and repeatedly communicated to employees. An employee safety training done upon initial hire is insufficient. Employees should have periodic training that reinforces safety and provides updates on changing regulations and conditions.
Communication of a safety plan is not limited to training meetings, but should encompass reinforcement by management, written notices and signage, and regular monitoring for compliance. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a resource for workplace publications and training materials on dozens of topics. Additionally, each state has its own agency that can provide resources.
Accountability. An employee safety plan should involve those at every level of the organization, not just those directly involved in safety management. Employees that report where corrective action is needed should feel comfortable and be confident that it will be addressed.
Employee Input. Developing a safety culture should not be a one-way street from management on down, but should intentionally include employees at different work roles. The employee working directly with the day-to-day hazards often has insights into solutions management would be unaware of.
Making it standard to include various employees in safety committees and having an open-door policy for recommendations adds to the safety culture. Recognizing input through employee incentives is another practice that increases buy-in.
Investment in Proper Equipment. One of the hazards of the construction industry is the type of machinery used. Employers should see to routine machine and equipment maintenance at required intervals, and communicate the timeframes when they need repair or replacement.
Employee Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, work gloves, respirators, footwear and more advanced, site-specific safety equipment are also a cost borne by the employer, and should be maintained and replaced appropriately.
When an employee is injured in a construction accident, the results can be serious and life-threatening, or even fatal. Construction workers should also be aware of their rights under federal law to a safe work environment, and what they can do if it is not.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Injured Construction Workers
The Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can get you the compensation you deserve and work to hold the responsible parties liable. Please contact us for a consultation at 215-569-8488 or complete our online form. We represent clients in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County, and throughout Pennsylvania, as well as Delaware and New Jersey.