Construction is the most dangerous industry in America. Construction accounts for one in five worker deaths each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 2017, 971 construction workers lost their lives on the job in the U.S. If you work in the construction industry, improve workplace safety by practicing a few simple tips. Keep these in mind next time you’re at a job site.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Although it is your employer’s legal dutyto provide a reasonably safe workplace, do not assume this is the case. Make personal safety your own responsibility. Always be aware of your surroundings. Some of the most common causes of fatal construction worker accidents are falls, struck-by objects, electrocutions and caught-in/between objects or equipment. Pay attention to what you’re doing at all times to avoid common accidents and injuries in construction.
Recognize Signs of a Problem
Even if it is not your job, learn the signs of something potentially wrong with the heavy machinery or equipment you use at work. As an operator of dangerous equipment, you could catch a problem before it causes a serious accident by recognizing red flags. If you use hydraulic equipment, for example, a leak could point to the need for replacing high pressure hydraulic shaft seals. Pointing out a leak could help your employer repair the hydraulic cylinder before it completely fails.
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
Federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who come forward with complaints regarding OSHA safety violations. Do not worry about losing your job or getting demoted for speaking up about an unsafe situation in the workplace. Your employer cannot terminate your contract or otherwise punish you for reporting to OSHA or another safety authority. Saying something could save a life.
Don’t become a statistic. Keep yourself and others safe on the job by following these three simple tips the next time you’re working at a construction site.