Planning ahead, managing risks, scheduling in a way that prevents exhaustion and developing a safety-minded culture are the four important steps that construction employers must take to ensure on-the-job safety. Construction employers and workers alike in California should know that without these priorities, the industry they belong to will continue to be among the most dangerous.
First, planning ahead involves assessing the hazards that workers face in a given job and then putting preventative measures in place. When a job involves working from heights, employers should ensure that nets or catch platforms are set up. Zoning can keep out cars and other intruders from work areas.
Risk management starts with knowing when construction fatalities are most likely to occur. One study says they occur usually between 10 am and 3 pm, peaking at noon. Three quarters of fatalities arise on Mondays through Thursdays. Summers are deadly, too, largely because of the increase in heat-related illnesses. Employers could set up safety meetings around noon to establish strict protocols.
Scheduling workers for extended shifts is inadvisable, even when faced with talent shortages, because such workers will become exhausted and more prone to injury. Lastly, a safety-minded culture is a product of continual training, clear communication and teamwork. OSHA offers online training courses that can partly help in this regard.
Not every accident can be averted, which is why the workers’ compensation program exists. Those who incur a job-related injury or illness may file a claim and, if they meet the deadlines and do not have their claim opposed, be reimbursed for their medical bills and a portion of lost wages. They may even receive temporary or permanent disability leave. If victims die, the family may receive death benefits. No matter how simple or complex the case is, a lawyer may assist with it.