Certain workplaces are especially dangerous for workers.
The number of workplace injuries and fatalities have come down significantly since 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) came into operation. Since then, the rate of occupational injuries and illnesses have been reduced by 67 percent even though the workforce has nearly doubled. Work-related fatalities have been reduced from 38 worker fatalities a day in 1970 to 13 worker fatalities a day in 2014. Employers who fail to comply with OSHA regulations face hefty fines. However, certain workplaces still remain dangerous for workers.
Work Hazards on Construction Sites
Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces. There are ample opportunities for injuries because of construction equipment, materials, tools, machinery, and pipes. It is important to take proper safety precautions and if a worksite is not kept free of debris and other materials, workers could slip and fall, suffering serious injuries. Injuries from construction debris are preventable in most cases. It is the duty of employers to maintain a safe workplace that is free of all hazards.
Work-Related Injuries from Construction Debris
A worker can suffer injury from construction site debris under various situations:
- building tools and materials that are not properly stored
- falling debris
- falling equipment or tools
- failure to properly dispose discarded materials
- slip and fall on improperly discarded materials
Many of these hazards can be avoided when proper safety precautions are taken and OSHA regulations are complied with.
Types of Construction Site Debris
Construction work requires large amounts of materials and construction workers often carry large sets of tools with them to perform their jobs. These materials and tools can fall from platforms, buildings, and scaffolding. Items that can fall and cause injury include:
- Tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, and hammers which are left out or not properly secured.
- Wooden panels or boards used in the construction of buildings or that are part of scaffolding.
- Unsecured glass panels can fall onto workers who may be working or walking beneath the construction zone.
- If concrete is not supported properly while it is being poured or setting, it can fall due to floor collapse.
Workers’ Compensation for Construction Workers
Construction companies are required to have workers’ compensation insurance even if they only employ one worker. If you suffer an injury while working at a construction site, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including payments for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. If you have any questions about the benefits you should receive, speak to a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We will educate you about your rights, and if required, will fight for your right to workers’ compensation. Call us for a free consultation at (314) 361-4300.