Construction workers face a high risk for injuries and even fatalities here in North Carolina, and this risk holds nationwide. For this reason, construction employers must take the following steps to ensure a safe workplace.
Careful planning and risk management
Everything starts with planning ahead for a given project. The managers of that project should make sure to take certain preventative measures and then communicate these to workers. The workers should have the right tools and personal protective equipment. Perhaps managers could perform a hazard assessment, especially if workers will be on elevated platforms. Falls are to blame for one-third of all construction fatalities.
Employers can better manage risk if they know that most construction deaths arise between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and hit their peak at noon. Workers should be aware that summers are the most dangerous, largely due to the increase in heat-related illnesses and exhaustion.
Prudent scheduling and a safety-minded culture
Scheduling must take the reality of worker exhaustion into account. Employers must not extend a worker’s shift too often, even when there’s a real talent shortage. Lastly, employers cannot simply force all of these safety-minded measures on workers from above. Employers must make an effort to create a culture of safety. Team-building activities and ongoing education can help in this regard.
Legal representation for injured employees
Under workers’ compensation law, injured construction workers can be eligible for benefits, assuming that the injuries are work-related and that workers did not cause those injuries because of negligent behavior like alcohol intoxication. Employers can deny benefits for a number of reasons, which would necessitate an appeal; because this can get complicated, it may be beneficial for victims to have legal representation from the beginning. A lawyer may work to ensure that victims receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and so on.