Tens of thousands of severe work-related injuries occur each year in the United States. While those who manage construction sites and other hazardous places of work ought to abide by the standard of “safety first”, they often practice something closer to what one can only refer to as “safety third”. We understand the realities of a construction site. It’s often not “safety first” for those who work and are at risk. More often, it’s “get the job done fast”, and the company’s primary concern lies in efficiency and cutting costs.
This mentality of being concerned with bottom lines and productivity first and foremost can work well for everyone – it’s part of what made America great. However, safety must also be the number one priority when considering production costs and speed. If this were the case, it would lead to fewer injuries and fewer disabled workers.
Strict regulations for construction sites have been put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The express purpose of the standards set forth by OSHA is to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards. More often than not, when a fatal accident involving a worker occurs, the situation would have been prevented if the employer or contractor on the site had only abided by the OSHA guidelines.
Despite being preventable, fall injuries are all too common. In fact, falls from high locations are the number one cause of work-related construction deaths. Specific regulations by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set forth standards on how to erect scaffolding, how ladders ought to be placed, and how aerial lifts ought to be operated. Still, such accidents occur on a regular basis, and the result is often tragic. An unprotected worker falling from a significant height is highly likely to suffer a catastrophic injury.
The OSHA requirements state that harnesses and guardrails become necessary precautions at a height of just six feet, given that a fall from such a height can be crippling. Of course, workers ought to be offered the same protection at 100 feet or more and everywhere in-between as they are at 6 feet.
The electrical safety standards provided by OSHA are clear and straightforward. They include:
Even though these important safety standards are of the utmost importance and could not be made any clearer, they are violated in construction sites across Pennsylvania each day. Some contractors don’t even take the basic precautions such as ensuring flexibility and integrity of extension cords, leading to thousands of unnecessary electric shock injuries each year.
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident due to an employer or contractor’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our law firm today to get the quality representation you deserve.