Construction Safety Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the industry’s mission to eliminate worksite accidents, has been postponed due to COVID-19’s impact on the country and around the world. Safety Week was originally supposed to be held the first week of May.
Started in 2014, Safety Week began with the partnership of the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) and the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) CEO Forum. The week is meant to thank construction workers for their service, increase awareness of the importance of workplace safety, and provide resources to educate others and improve safety culture.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was also supposed to hold its own National Safety Stand-Down initiative this week, which they postponed. Their safety week was intended to raise awareness about the construction industry’s fall hazards. Falls from elevation are the leading cause of death for construction employees, according to OSHA, accounting for 320 of the 1,0008 construction fatalities that were recorded in 2018.
Though Safety Week has been postponed, the risks associated with construction work are still worth highlighting, especially now that COVID-19 exposure is an added risk. This week, thousands of construction projects reopened in New York City alone, known as the hardest-hit city in terms of COVID-19 fatalities. Now, many construction worker advocates are concerned with existing working conditions and are calling for more safety measures put in place to prevent possible exposure to COVID-19. Some suggestions include staggered start times so large groups don’t work near one another at the same time and additional sinks and water sources in place so workers can wash their hands.
Common risks and hazards that workers face on construction sites include:
- Working from heights: Falls from heights are relatively common and can cause serious injuries, including spinal cord and neck injuries, head and brain trauma, paralysis, and more.
- Slip and falls: Construction workers can easily trip over machinery, debris, and any spills or slippery surfaces.
- Absestos: Asbestos is often present in older buildings and homes that are torn down or renovated, and exposure is known for causing lung cancer in individuals.
- Electricity: Construction workers run the risk of getting shocked or electrocuted when working with exposed and damages wiring.
- Handling heavy machinery and equipment: Whether injured due to defective equipment or lack of training, construction workers can be seriously injured by machinery such as cranes, bulldozers, forklifts, oil rigs, logging equipment, and more.
- Falling materials: Flying rocks or bricks can injure nearby workers.
- Fires and explosions: Burns can be painful and costly to treat, and can result in the loss of limbs, eyesight, and other more serious injuries.
While the construction industry is widely known for being dangerous and full of risks that can cause bodily harm, that doesn’t mean that companies and other parties should get away with negligence. Construction workers who have been harmed should hire a personal injury lawyer to investigate their accident and determine liability. Our team of professionals has successfully recovered damages for construction workers over the years including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
For more than 40 years, our construction accident lawyers have represented construction workers who have unfairly been injured on the job. We’re not afraid to investigate accidents and hold negligent parties responsible, from scaffolding companies to contractors to insurance companies. Those who have violated OSCHA safety standards or neglected to provide a safe environment for workers must be punished. After being injured, you can either file for workers’ comp or a personal injury claim – our team can help you explore your options and make a decision that benefits you and your future.
The Law Office of James M. Stanley offers free consultations when you call (817) 591-4222, or contact us online. Our team of personal injury attorneys believe that all construction workers deserve to work in a reasonably safe environment. If your employer or some other party has violated OSHA guidelines, we want to hear about it.