The greatest challenge that is probably facing construction firms today is accomplishing more in much lesser time. Construction is progress, and progress requires fast action. But, as buildings, which need to be constructed, are becoming bigger, taller and more intricate in materials and design, many workers are forced to render longer work periods, resulting to fatigue which, in turn, often compromises safety in the workplace.
One very common site in construction areas is heavy equipment. These include cranes (which are a must in construction works), road rollers, crawlers, excavators, caterpillar, loaders, forklifts, concrete mixer, and bulldozers. Heavy equipment, undoubtedly, help the construction industry accomplish more at a much faster rate. But due to their huge sizes, any of these can cause a disabling or fatal injury if operated wrongly or by an untrained and careless worker.
Recognizing the risks of accidents and injuries that employees, but most especially construction workers, are exposed to everyday the US Congress established in 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) which, in turn, gave rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA’s task is to ensure the safety of all working men and women through the creation and maintenance of a safe and healthy working environment; it is charged to set and enforce standards that will keep the workplace, as much as possible, free from accident-causing injuries.
It is clear, however, that having an accident-free working environment is quite impossible for, despite OSHA’s work, state laws and employers’ efforts, the US Department of Labor still received reports of as many as 4,585 fatal work-related accidents for the year 2013.
Records from the Department of Labor also shows that being struck by an object and getting caught in or between objects are among the top causes of deaths in construction sites (falls is number one), and that more than half of all construction site accidents involve employees who are in their first year of employment.
Workers still lacking in experience cannot be an acceptable reason for an accident, especially since OSHA also mandates that all employees should receive training about their job. Though workers, who sustain a job-related injury or illness, may claim financial benefits through their employer-sponsored Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit, this is never an excuse for any employer or anyone in the construction workplace to be negligent of his/her responsibility in helping keep the work area safe for everyone.
The website of The Law Offices of Crowe & Mulvey, LLC, acknowledges the dangers that construction workers (as well as those passing by construction areas) face daily, these do not take away the fact that those who are liable for the accident may face a civil lawsuit through which the accident victim may seek, and be allowed to receive, compensation from them.