Construction employers know that providing a safe and secure environment for their workers is vital to preventing illnesses, injuries, and fatalities. Creating a safe work environment also helps the employers’ bottom line by lowering insurance costs, reducing medical expenses, and avoiding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties from violations and/or the cost of accident investigations. For employers, improvements to safety and healthy habits in the workplace increase workers’ overall productivity and help stick to construction deadlines.
Under federal law, construction employers have the following responsibilities to create a safe workplace:
- Employers must provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules, and regulations issued by OSHA.
- Regular workplace walkthroughs must be conducted to ensure workplace conditions conform to applicable OSHA standards.
- All tools and equipment used on the worksite must be safe for employees to use and must be maintained regularly and properly.
- OSHA requires a wide variety of signage to properly warn employees of potential hazards. Construction safety is maintained when employees are able to easily see color codes, posters, labels, and signs.
- All construction companies should have up-to-date operating procedures established. All operating procedures should be clearly communicated to employees so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Employees working for a construction company should have safety training in a language and vocabulary that they can understand. Providing construction safety training is crucial to avoiding workplace accidents.
- Many construction companies use hazardous chemicals at their worksites. Employers that require their employees to work with or near hazardous chemicals must develop and implement a written hazard communication program. Employees must also be specifically trained on the hazards they will encounter when working with these chemicals and what type of precautions they should take to stay safe. A copy of all Material Safety Data Sheets should be readily available for inspection.
- Construction companies have the responsibility to correct cited violations by the deadline set in the OSHA citation. If the violation is not corrected on time, workers are protected from retaliation if they choose to contact OSHA to report their employer’s delay in fixing workplace hazards.
- OSHA encourages construction employers to develop and implement some type of safety and health program. These programs are considered universal interventions that can significantly reduce the number and severity of construction site injuries and reduce the associated costs of those accidents on workplaces. Most successful safety and health programs are based on diligent leadership, 100 percent worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards.
Houston Construction Accident Attorneys
Construction accident victims and their loved ones understand firsthand the toll a construction-related injury can have. Every worker deserves the right to a safe workplace, free of immediate dangers. Additionally, all employees have the right to feel safe and protected while performing their jobs; and, no employee should fear reporting an employer’s negligence for fear of retaliation. Workers have legal rights and options. If you or a loved one was injured in a construction-related accident while on the job in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. There is limited time to act following a Texas workplace injury, so don’t delaying contacting us to discuss your case.