Employers and employees have a fairly symbiotic relationship. They need a job done, and you need to earn money. Naturally, just because you show up to work doesn’t mean you will get paid. You have to earn your paycheck for hours logged. Why then, should you labor for a company that fails to uphold its end of the bargain, and provide a safe place for you to get your work done? And yet, almost 5,000 workers were killed in 2014, and that isn’t even including those that were injured or became ill from job-related causes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Association is doing its best to combat these numbers and penalize employers by evaluating work sites and issuing citations. In the event of fatalities and injuries, OSHA sends investigators to determine causation. Still, OSHA struggles with the enormous task. There are, on average, 59,000 workers for every one OSHA compliance officer.
You can do your part to prevent accidents by reporting any incidents of negligence by your employer, and if you were already injured on the job, were any of these common offenses present at the job site where you were injured?
- Improper fall protection. Falls are the most frequent kind of construction worker accident that results in a fatality.
- Unsteady scaffolding not up to regulations as being safe.
- Lack of control of hazardous energy.
- Lack of respiratory protection where dangerous fumes and airborne contaminants may be present.
- Improper ladder safety.
- Warnings of dangers and hazards not clearly communicated.
The main cause of workplace death in the construction industry are falls. The next two are very close in their occurrence on average per year, and they are electrocution and being struck by an object. The last, being pinned between two objects is significantly less common.
If you have already been hurt on the job, and they have violated one of these or any number of safety standards as regulated by OSHA, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney to help guide you on your next steps. Your employer may owe you significantly more than lost wages.